Oct 212022
 
 October 21, 2022  Posted by at 8:05 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  80 Responses »


Salvador Dali Llane Beach, Cadaques 1919

 

US May End Aid To Ukraine After Midterms – Axios (RT)
Berlusconi Trashes NATO Narrative On Ukraine (RT)
Putin’s Gift To Berlusconi May Have Breached EU Sanctions (RT)
Power Costs In Italy Going Through The Roof (RT)
Zelensky Denies Kiev’s Role In Crimean Bridge Blast (RT)
Britain’s Stark Choice Ahead – Transformation or Collapse (Nafeez Ahmed)
US Slams Turkey-Russia Deal to Form a Natural Gas Hub (GR)
Xi Gets Ready For The Final Countdown (Escobar)
‘Peaceful Modernization’: China’s Offering To The Global South (Escobar)
Saudi Arabia Is Interested In Joining The BRICS (Telesur)
Biden Admin Weighs Blocking Twitter Deal On “National Security” Grounds (ZH)
PayPal Faces House Inquiry On $2,500 ‘Misinformation’ Fine Controversy (JTN)
How An Illiquid Dollar Ruins The World (Piepenburg)
It’s Been 2 Years Since 51 Intel Agents Interfered With An Election (Devine)
One in Every 500 Small Children Who Get Pfizer Vaccine are Hospitalised (DS)

 

 

Every high civilization decays by forgetting obvious things.
– G.K. Chesterton

 

 

 

 

Terhes

 

 

 

 

Gaddafi

 

 

 

 

Zakharova

 

 

 

 

Amazon books Tucker

 

 

 

 

Will the GOP turn its back on Raytheon? Maybe they reckon this cannot be taken any further, that too many impoverished Americans will turn their backs on them. November 8.

US May End Aid To Ukraine After Midterms – Axios (RT)

The extensive assistance provided by Washington to Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia may be cut if the Republican Party takes control of Congress in the midterm elections on November 8, Axios has reported. Even the harshest critics of Vladimir Putin among the Republicans now acknowledge that there’s been a “noticeable shift away from what was once a broad bipartisan consensus” on providing aid to Kiev, the outlet reported on Wednesday. It cited House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who told Punchbowl News earlier this week: “I think people are gonna be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine. They just won’t do it. ”Ukraine might be important, but it can’t be the only thing on the agenda of the US administration, he insisted.

Republican Congressman Don Bacon also said he’d “noticed” a decline in support for Ukraine. “You see it a little bit on social media, you see it with some of our members,” he said. Bacon’s colleague Kelly Armstrong told Axios that the mood swing was likely a result of the feedback that the lawmakers had been getting from their constituents. “When people are seeing a 13% increase in grocery prices; energy, utility bills doubling… if you’re a border community and you’re being overrun by migrants and fentanyl, Ukraine is the furthest thing from your mind,” he pointed out. The website also cited a senior House Republican, who claimed that “after the $40 billion [in aid package in May], there were a lot of Republicans saying: ‘This is the last time I’m going to support Ukraine funding.’”

In a comment to Axios, Congressman Jim Banks, who chairs the Republican Study Committee (RSC), pointed out that his party is going to focus on domestic issues after the midterms. “RSC believes you can’t lead abroad when you’re so weak at home. Our GOP agenda in the new majority needs to secure our own border and get America back on our feet by addressing energy cost and inflation,” he explained. Asked to comment on McCarthy’s remarks, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre insisted that the Biden administration would “continue to work with Congress, as we have these past several months, on these efforts and support Ukraine as long as it takes.”Jean-Pierre reminded that this was a“commitment” that Joe Biden made to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

White House aides told Politico on Wednesday that the Biden administration hadn’t warned Kiev about the possibility of US aid coming to an end in the event that Republicans take control of at least one chamber of Congress after the election. However, officials in Kiev are aware that this may happen, they said. The US has been Kiev’s biggest backer since the outbreak of its conflict with Russia in late February, providing Kiev with more than $16.8 billion in military aid, including sophisticated hardware such as HIMARS multiple rocket launchers, M777 howitzers, and combat drones. Moscow has been decrying those weapons deliveries, saying they only prolong the fighting and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.

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Major threat to Meloni’s new coalition. Just because he’s right.

“Giorgia Meloni, who has been tasked with forming a new Italian government, stated that people who do not share a pro-NATO stance would have no place in her coalition.”

Berlusconi Trashes NATO Narrative On Ukraine (RT)

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has reportedly claimed that Kiev triggered a conflict with Russia by reneging on a peace plan for eastern Ukraine, a tape provided to the media suggests. In an apparent response to the leak, Giorgia Meloni, who has been tasked with forming a new Italian government, stated that people who do not share a pro-NATO stance would have no place in her coalition. Speaking to members of his Forza Italia party on Tuesday, Berlusconi reportedly offered a viewpoint about the origin of the Ukraine crisis that clashed with the NATO-favored narrative of unprovoked Russian aggression against its neighbor.

Italy is an important member of the US-led alliance and anyone who disagrees with this position will be excluded from government, Meloni, the leader of the Brothers of Italy party, pledged on Wednesday evening, as quoted by the newspaper La Repubblica. In the audio clip, Berlusconi can be heard accusing Kiev of failing for years to uphold a peace deal with the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. When Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky came to power in 2019, he “tripled down” on attacking the regions, the politician stated. Donetsk and Lugansk asked for Moscow’s protection, he continued. Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine in the hope that Zelensky would be overthrown and replaced with “good people of common sense” within a couple of weeks, Berlusconi claimed. The wording resembles what he told the Italian public broadcaster RAI after the September election. During this week’s meeting, Berlusconi allegedly suggested that the conflict in Ukraine could last for over “200 years,”after the country unexpectedly resisted Russia and received money and arms from Western nations to continue the fighting.

In another part of the recording, which was published by the LaPresse news agency, Berlusconi claimed to have received a crate of vodka and a “nice letter” from Putin for his birthday. He added that he responded by sending Lambrusco wine to the Russian leader. After the clip was released, the former prime minister’s party claimed he had been referring to historical contacts with Putin and not recent events. Berlusconi has a long record of friendly relations with Putin, which stretched beyond his tenure as prime minister. The three-time former leader of the Italian government’s participation in the right-wing coalition has resulted in claims that the country could make a foreign policy U-turn and oppose the US-led anti-Russian campaign under Meloni. She repeatedly pledged her support for the EU and NATO after winning the election.

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“I responded with 20 bottles of Lambrusco and a similarly sweet letter..”

Putin’s Gift To Berlusconi May Have Breached EU Sanctions (RT)

A case containing 20 bottles of vodka that Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly sent to former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as a birthday gift may have violated EU sanctions, Der Spiegel reported on Thursday, citing an official comment from the European Commission to the DPA news agency. According to the statement, a spokeswoman for the Commission told the news agency that the April 2022 ban on goods imports from Russia to the EU includes spirits, namely vodka, and does not provide an exemption for gifts. The spokeswoman went on to explain that breaches of the sanctions can be reported to the competent national authorities of member states, or directly to Brussels. The news that Putin had sent the gift to Berlusconi was reported by Italy’s LaPresse news agency earlier this week.

The outlet released an audio recording of the former prime minister’s discussion with members of his party, Forza Italia, at a closed meeting. “I have reconnected with President Putin… He sent me 20 bottles of vodka and a really sweet letter for my birthday. I responded with 20 bottles of Lambrusco and a similarly sweet letter,” Berlusconi was heard saying in the recording. However, Forza Italia representatives later said that the former PM was not referring to his most recent birthday on September 29, 2022, but instead was telling “an old story to lawmakers about an episode that occurred years ago,” which means that EU sanctions may not apply at all. The party representatives added that “Berlusconi denies the news of alleged renewed relations with Vladimir Putin.”

However, later reports emerged, suggesting that the remarks were indeed made this year. The potential scandal comes just weeks after the 86-year-old politician returned to the Italian parliament, nine years after being forced out for alleged tax fraud. Previously, Putin and Berlusconi enjoyed a friendly relationship and often complimented one another. However, Berlusconi has lately been critical of Putin over Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, saying he was disappointed with the Russian leader, who he always considered “a man of democracy and peace.”

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How much longer will Italy support NATO and its Ukraine attack?

Power Costs In Italy Going Through The Roof (RT)

Electricity tariffs in Italy saw record growth last month, exceeding 136% on an annual basis, according to a National Union of Consumers report on Tuesday. The report said that in September, electricity prices came out on top in the ranking of the most expensive goods and services, which the union regularly compiles based on data from the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT). In the category of non-food products, electricity prices were followed by costs for air travel across Europe, which have risen 128% over the past year. Then came intercontinental flights, for which the prices almost doubled (97.4%). Gas tariffs increased by just under 64% in September.As for food products, the ranking was led by vegetable oils (with the exception of olive oil), up by almost 60%.

The prices of butter and rice rose 38% and 26.7% respectively. Other foodstuffs that saw price increases of more than 20% include pasta, canned milk, flour, and basic vegetables. “Only for food and drink, every single Italian family will pay an average of €660 more per year,” the consumer union’s president, Massimiliano Dona, said. He added that families with two children will have to pay €900 ($885) more, and those with three children, €1,075 ($1,057) more.Inflation in Italy climbed to 8.9% in September on an annualized basis, ISTAT data shows. Meanwhile, the ‘consumer basket’ saw a rise of 10.9% over the year. Such a high increase in the price of basic foodstuffs and personal goods has not been recorded in Italy since 1983.

The head of Italian energy think tank Nomisma Energia said this week that Italy, along with the rest of Europe, is experiencing an energy shock of unprecedented magnitude, as electricity prices have almost doubled. According to him, Italians should be ready for rationing during the coldest winter months. He also urged households to make use of alternative methods of heating, such as burning firewood and pellets, though he added that prices for these are also up.

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Russia knows who did it.

Zelensky Denies Kiev’s Role In Crimean Bridge Blast (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has denied “ordering” the bombing of the Crimean Bridge linking the peninsula to mainland Russia. The president made the remarks during an interview with the Canadian broadcaster CTV, aired on Wednesday. Asked to comment on the “spectacular attack” on the bridge, as the broadcaster put it, Zelensky said Kiev was not involved. “We definitely did not order that, as far as I know,” he told the reporters. The bridge was hit by a massive explosion on October 8, which severely damaged its road traffic section and killed three civilians, as well as setting a passing freight train on fire. Several top Ukrainian officials openly celebrated the attack, while the country’s postal service issued a stamp commemorating the blast, just hours after it happened.


Moscow has directly blamed Kiev for the incident, branding the explosion a “terrorist attack.” Russian law enforcement claims to have established how the bomb, which was disguised as construction materials, made it to the bridge from the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, via multiple transit countries. Russian investigators believe the plot was hatched by Ukrainian military intelligence. Moscow has identified 12 individuals as suspected accomplices in the plot and has arrested eight of them, the FSB said. The list of people in custody includes five Russians and three foreign nationals, who hold passports of Ukraine and Armenia. A spokesman for Ukrainian military intelligence told the media that the FSB was a “fake structure,” and that the report was unworthy of comment.

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“..states begin to fail within 15 years of losing their main sources of energy and economic revenue..”

Britain’s Stark Choice Ahead – Transformation or Collapse (Nafeez Ahmed)

Five years ago, I warned in a study that Europe faces an increasing risk of state failure due to the escalation of interlinked environmental, energy and economic crises – and I found an intriguing pattern: states begin to fail within 15 years of losing their main sources of energy and economic revenue. Escalating crisis drives social polarisation, undermining national cohesion and resulting in outbreaks of civil unrest. Without a change of course, these outbreaks coalesce to undermine the functioning of key state institutions. At worst, they can lead to total government collapse and a state of permanent warfare. Gripped by multiple crises, Britain now appears to be following a familiar pattern of environmental, energy and economic-driven state failure.

Since the 1970s, the world has experienced a rising trend of civil unrest and societal breakdown – in correlation with three realities: rising inequality associated with the neoliberal age of globalisation; escalating economic overshoot of the Earth’s ecological systems; and intensifying decline in the quality of fossil fuel energy resources. Britain’s North Sea Oil production peaked in 1999. Fifteen years later, as its domestic oil production haemorrhaged, fringe right-wing nationalist forces had moved increasingly into the mainstream. They blamed Europe, immigrants, asylum seekers, Muslims and ethnic minorities for Britain’s intractable social and economic crises. Their success was arguably reflected in the 2016 vote to leave the European Union. During that period, the quality of the UK’s energy dropped by a third, if not more.

In 2000, a year after the UK’s North Sea Oil production peaked, Britain’s ‘energy return on investment’ (EROI) – a ratio capturing the amount of energy used to extract a single unit of energy – was around 9.6. By 2012, this had plummeted to 6.2. This is well below the minimum EROI benchmark of 11 considered necessary to sustain continued economic growth. As a study by the University of Leeds’ Sustainability Research Institute concluded, this means that “more and more energy is having to be used in the extraction of energy itself rather than by the UK’s economy or society”. What is happening to Britain now is symptomatic of a wider global phenomenon. Its dependence on oil, gas and coal is self-cannibalising. The scientific consensus shows that it is driving us towards climate catastrophe and, at worst, civilisational collapse.

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Only US LNG allowed.

US Slams Turkey-Russia Deal to Form a Natural Gas Hub (GR)

The U.S. expressed on Wednesday its opposition to the agreement announced by Turkey for the creation of a natural gas hub in cooperation with Russia. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that he had agreed with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to form a natural gas hub in Turkey. Speaking to members of his AK Party in parliament, Erdogan said Putin had said Europe can obtain its gas supply from the hub in Turkey. “Türkiye will be a hub for natural gas as well. In our last meeting, we agreed with Putin on this issue. We will create a hub here with Turkish gas coming from Russia,” Erdogan said. The U.S. State Department fired back.

“We have worked closely with our allies and partners to impose severe and unprecedented costs on Russia, including through sanctions, export controls, visa restrictions. We have urged Turkey and all of our allies and partners that no one should have become a safe haven for illicit Russian assets or transactions, and we will continue to make that case,” Vedant Patel, State Department’s principal deputy spokesperson said. “And as it relates to the energy conversation, we have continued to urge our allies to take steps to diversify their energy sources, to reduce energy reliance on Russia. And in the case of Turkey, we are working with them closely to assist in their own efforts to enhance energy security in the long term,” he added.

Last month, on the sidelines of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia summit in the Kazakh capital Astana, Erdogan held a closed-door meeting with Putin, who had proposed building a natural gas hub in Turkey. Putin has floated the idea of exporting more gas via the TurkStream gas pipeline running beneath the Black Sea to Turkey, touting the country as the best route for redirecting gas supplies to the European Union after the Nord Stream pipeline leaks. Erdogan previously said Russian and Turkish energy authorities would work together to designate the best location for the potential gas distribution center, adding that Turkey’s Thrace region, bordering Greece and Bulgaria, appeared to be the best spot.

Carrying natural gas from Russia to Turkey and further into Europe, the TurkStream was formally launched in January 2020. The pipeline, which allows Moscow to bypass Ukraine as a transit route to Europe, carries Russian gas to Southern Europe through the Black Sea and Turkey.

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About Xi’s speech this week.

Xi Gets Ready For The Final Countdown (Escobar)

Xi also did not mention the US by name. Everyone in the leadership – especially the new Politburo – is aware of how Washington wants to “decouple” from China in every possible way and will continue to provocatively deploy every possible strand of hybrid war. Xi did not enter into details during his speech, but it’s clear the driving force going forward will be technological innovation linked to a global vision. That’s where BRI comes in, again – as the privileged field of application for these tech breakthroughs. Only this way we can understand how Zhu Guangyao, a former vice minister of finance, may be sure that per capita GDP in China in 2035 would at least double the numbers in 2019 and reach $20,000.

The challenge for Xi and the new Politburo right away is to fix China’s structural economic imbalance. And pumping up debt-financed “investment” all over again won’t work. So bets can be made that Xi’s third term – to be confirmed later this week – will have to concentrate on rigorous planning and monitoring of implementation, much more than during his previous bold, ambitious, abrasive but sometimes disconnected years. The Politburo will have to pay way more attention to technical considerations. Xi will have to delegate more serious policymaking autonomy to a bunch of competent technocrats. Otherwise, we will be back to that startling observation by then Premier Wen Jiabao in 2007: China’s economy is “unstable, unbalanced, uncoordinated and ultimately unsustainable”. That’s exactly where the Hegemon wants it to be.

As it stands, things are far from gloomy. The National Development and Reform Commission states that compared to the rest of the world, China’s consumer inflation is only “marginal”; the job market is steady; and international payments are stable. Xi’s work report and pledges may also be seen as turning the usual Anglo-American geopolitical suspects – Mackinder, Mahan, Spykman, Brzezinski – upside down. The China-Russia strategic partnership has no time to lose with global hegemonic games; what drives them is that sooner rather than later they will be ruling the Heartland – the world island – and beyond, with allies from the Rimland, and from Africa to Latin America, all participating in a new form of globalization. Certainly with Chinese characteristics; but most of all, pan-Eurasian characteristics. The final countdown is already on.

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The Ukraine conflict hinders China’s BRI. They want it to flow into Europe unimpeded.

‘Peaceful Modernization’: China’s Offering To The Global South (Escobar)

All over the extremely incandescent global chessboard, international relations are being completely reframed. China – and key Eurasian players at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), BRICS+, and Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) – are all proposing peaceful development. In contrast, the Hegemon imposes an avalanche of sanctions – not by accident the top three recipients are Eurasian powers Russia, Iran and China; lethal proxy wars (Ukraine); and every possible strand of hybrid war to prevent the end of its supremacy, which lasted barely seven and a half decades, a blip in historical terms.

The current dysfunction – physical, political, financial, cognitive – is reaching a climax. As Europe plunges into the abyss of largely self-inflicted devastation and darkness – a neo-medievalism in woke register – an internally ravaged Empire resorts to plundering even its wealthy “allies”. It’s as if we are all witnessing a Mackinder-on-crack scenario. Halford Mackinder, of course, was the British geographer who developed the ‘Heartland Theory’ of geopolitics, heavily influencing US foreign policy during the Cold War: “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; Who rules the Heartland commands the World Island; Who rules the World Island commands the World.”

Russia spans 11 time zones and sits atop as much as one third of the world’s natural resources. A natural symbiosis between Europe and Russia is like a fact of life. But the EU oligarchy blew it. It’s no wonder the Chinese leadership views the process with horror, because one of BRI’s essential planks is to facilitate seamless trade between China and Europe. As Russia’s connectivity corridor has been blocked by sanctions, China will be privileging corridors via West Asia. Meanwhile, Russia is completing its pivot to the east. Russia’s enormous resources, combined with the manufacturing capability of China and East Asia as a whole, project a trade/connectivity sphere that goes even beyond BRI. That’s at the heart of the Russian concept of Greater Eurasia Partnership.

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Critical mass.

Saudi Arabia Is Interested In Joining The BRICS (Telesur)

At an interview on the South African Broadcasting Corporation on Tuesday, President Cyril Ramposa announced that Saudi Arabia is interested in joining BRICS, an economic cooperation organization made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. “Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed the kingdom’s desire to join the BRICS,” the South African president said, adding that other countries are also interested in joining this organization. “In 2023, the BRICS summit will be held under the South African presidency and this request will be studied. Several countries are in contact with the BRICS and we have assured them that the accession issue will be discussed and a decision will be made,” Ramposa explained.

Among the nations that have already applied to join this international forum is Argentina, whose President Alberto Fernandez asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to join the BRICS. Sabino Vaca, Argentina’s ambassador to China, stated that the BRICS constitute an excellent cooperation alternative for developing countries given that the current world order has shown that it only works for the benefit of a few nations. At their 14th summit in July, the BRICS countries discussed economic cooperation options related to the creation of a new development bank, the formation of a contingent reserve arrangement, an intercountry payment system, and a BRICS basket reserve currency. Seen from the perspective of the global financial system, the consequence of those actions would be the gradual weakening of the U.S. dollar as an international reserve currency.

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ZeroHedge: “Just as Musk wanted”, “And the thing is Musk will still end up owning it… just 80% cheaper under the next admin.”

Biden Admin Weighs Blocking Twitter Deal On “National Security” Grounds (ZH)

One month ago we joked that should the Delaware judge force Musk to buy Twitter, then none other than the US government would step in and prevent the South African from gaining control over the blue-checkmark echo chamber of record, the one social media network which congressional testimony after congressional testimony has argued it can manipulate the outcome of elections. Well, that prediction is about to come true, because according to Bloomberg, the Biden administration is discussing whether the US should subject some of Elon Musk’s ventures to national security reviews, including the deal for Twitter and SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network, citing people familiar with the matter.

In short, not only is the deep state government preparing to block Musk’s acquisition of TWTR on national security grounds (unlcear what that would achieve as the stock would crater to single digits, especially after today’s SNAP earnings, and so many of its employees have already quit), but it may “expropriate” Musk’s satellite pet project too, all for daring to ask a question about the US involvement in Ukraine, and what exactly the endgame there is. As Bloomberg adds, “US officials have grown uncomfortable over Musk’s recent threat to stop supplying the Starlink satellite service to Ukraine — he said it had cost him $80 million so far — and what they see as his increasingly Russia-friendly stance following a series of tweets that outlined peace proposals favorable to President Vladimir Putin. They are also concerned by his plans to buy Twitter with a group of foreign investors.”

The discussions are still at an early stage, the people familiar said on condition of anonymity. Officials in the US government and intelligence community are weighing what tools, if any, are available that would allow the federal government to review Musk’s ventures. One possible legal pathway is through the law governing the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to review Musk’s deals and operations for national security risks. The CFIUS was used extensively in the Trump admin to block and undo numerous Chinese deals, arguing they could pose a national threat to the US. Now, it’s none other than Musk who has emerged as the deep state’s biggest nemesis.

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“..the company still maintains a $2,500 “liquidation” policy against accounts accused of “discrimination” and “hatred” as well as “intolerance”..”

PayPal Faces House Inquiry On $2,500 ‘Misinformation’ Fine Controversy (JTN)

House Republicans are launching an inquiry into PayPal after the payment processing company sparked major controversy for a policy that would fine customers for “misinformation.” The controversy began when news broke earlier this month that PayPal would fine customers $2,500 for spreading misinformation. PayPal quickly retracted the policy, saying it was a mistake that “went out in error” but not before “cancelPayPal” was trending and Twitter users boasted of deleting their accounts. The company’s stocks tumbled as the news unfolded. Now, House Republicans want answers. They sent a letter to PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman asking how the policy originated, who approved it, whether the Biden administration was involved, and more.

“As a leading financial technology company, it is concerning that a user agreement that contemplates the restriction of free speech was uploaded and disseminated to PayPal users – even if in error,” the letter said. “We understand your company is currently investigating this matter. Upon the conclusion of your investigation, we request that you provide a briefing for the Committees as soon as practicable.” [..] The letter requests answers by the end of the month to a range of questions, including whether any entities were affected by the policy change, when the internal investigation will be over, and who was responsible for the policy in question.

Critics also point out that while PayPal rescinded its misinformation policy, the company still maintains a $2,500 “liquidation” policy against accounts accused of “discrimination” and “hatred” as well as “intolerance” as the company chooses to define it. “The ability to transact without fear of retribution and political censorship is the foundation on which a free economy is built,” Emmer said. “We cannot afford to sacrifice these freedoms, and we must keep a close eye on any actions that erode them. The now-rescinded penalties outlined in PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy were deeply concerning, and the American people deserve answers about how these decisions are made and whether their speech will be protected on this kind of platform.”

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Dumping Treasuries.

How An Illiquid Dollar Ruins The World (Piepenburg)

All of this scheming, leverage and swapping boils down to not enough available (i.e., liquid) USDs in a global financial system in which nearly everything—from debt, to oil to derivatives—still has to be paid in increasingly scarce and hence increasingly expensive Dollars. In addition to this twisted, illiquid and over-levered swamp, the USD rises even higher on Powell rate hikes, all of which combine to force the world’s other currencies to fall. Why? Because other countries and central banks have no choice but to swallow/import USD inflation, monetary policy and American political self-interest. Indeed, with financial allies like the U.S., who needs enemies?

Whenever the Fed, for example, prints more of the world reserve currency or raises its interest rate, the rest of the world, which is tied to that currency, is forced to react—i.e., debase, hike and suffer. We remind that nearly $14T in USD-denominated debt is owed by both emerging market and developed market economies. As the USD rises in strength on the back of Powell’s impossible Volcker-revival and tangled derivatives, other Dollar-desperate nations from Argentina to Japan find themselves with not enough Greenbacks to pay their debts or settle trades, wires and oil purchases, which thus forces them to print (i.e., debase) more of their local currencies to make USD-denominated payments.

But Japan takes the cake for debasing its own currency all on its own, as no nation has ever loved a money printer and currency-debaser more. This might explain why Japan is leading the charge in dumping its USTs into the FOREX markets, which only adds more pressure to rising yields and hence rising rates. Thanks Kuroda—just one more central banker with a mouse-clicker gone mad… Perhaps he’ll be next in line for a Nobel Prize? But Japan is not alone, as other nations dump the once sacred UST just to keep their currencies afloat…In short: The strong USD is crippling the word, and that world, as we’ve written numerous times, will be de-dollarizing at a steady and irreversible pace.No shocker there. At some point, Dollar-indebted nations crack and this twisted global game ends in a credit crisis for the history books.

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“..they still won’t apologize..”

It’s Been 2 Years Since 51 Intel Agents Interfered With An Election (Devine)

Exactly two years ago, on October 19, 2020, one of the dirtiest tricks in electoral history was played on the American people by 51 former intelligence officials, who used the false alarm of “Russian interference” to stop Donald Trump winning a second term as president. Using the institutional weight of their former esteemed roles, they signed a dishonest letter to mislead voters 15 days before the election, claiming that material from Hunter Biden’s laptop published by the New York Post “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” In their expert opinion, “the Russians are involved in the Hunter Biden email issue.” Russia was “trying to influence how Americans vote in this election … Moscow [will] pull out the stops to do anything possible to help Trump win and/or to weaken Biden should he win.

“A ‘laptop op’ fits the bill, as the publication of the emails are [sic] clearly designed to discredit Biden … It is high time that Russia stops interfering in our democracy.” It was all a lie. Their letter was the culprit “interfering with democracy” in broad daylight. Not one of the 51 had seen any material from the laptop or bothered asking for it, but their letter, instigated by, signed and delivered to Politico by Democratic operative and former John Brennan aide Nick Shapiro, killed the story stone dead. It got candidate Joe Biden off the hook for the corrupt influence-peddling scheme his family had been running through the eight years of his vice presidency. The shameful letter was used by Joe Biden three days later, on October 22, to deflect Trump’s attack in their last debate.

“There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what he’s accusing me of is a Russian plan … Four, five former heads of the CIA, both parties, say what he’s saying is a bunch of garbage … You know his character. You know my character. You know my reputation is for honor and telling the truth … The character of the country is on the ballot.” Biden dismissed as a Kremlin smear all the evidence that was on his son’s laptop of dirty money from China and Russia, of all his meetings with Hunter’s overseas business partners, and all the lies he had told about his involvement in Hunter’s business deals The letter, like the Steele dossier and Russia collusion hoax peddled by many of the signatories, has helped fuel a moral panic about Russia in recent years that now has heightened the risk of nuclear war.

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A three month study will not reveal the real damage done. That takes years. But already 1 in 500 is insanely high. And still the CDC is pushing it.

One in Every 500 Small Children Who Get Pfizer Vaccine are Hospitalised (DS)

One in every 500 children under five years who received the Pfizer mRNA Covid vaccine were hospitalised with a vaccine injury, and one in 200 had symptoms ongoing for weeks or months afterwards, a study has found. The study published in JAMA included 7,806 children aged five or younger who were followed up of for an average of 91.4 days following their first Pfizer vaccination. It was a retrospective cohort study done as an authenticated online survey (response rate 41.1%) in spring 2022 which included parents or caregivers who registered children for SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in outpatient care facilities in Germany. It compared the adverse events to those of the same children with other vaccinations in order to control for over-reporting.

7 year old boy

It concluded that the symptoms reported after Pfizer vaccination were “comparable overall” to those for other vaccines. Let’s see. • Any symptoms: 62% higher • Musculoskeletal (muscles and bones) symptoms: 155% higher • Dermatologic (skin) symptoms: 118% higher • Otolaryngologic (ears, nose and throat) symptoms: 537% higher • Cardiovascular (heart etc.): 36% higher • Gastrointestinal (stomach etc.): 54% higher. It calls these “modestly elevated”. In 0.5% of the children (40 of 7,806) symptoms were “currently ongoing and thus of unknown significance”. This is in a study with a 2-4 month follow-up period. That means 0.5% of children had an adverse effect that lasted for weeks or months. In two cases (0.03%), symptoms were confirmed to have lasted longer than 90 days.


Ten children were hospitalised with reported serious adverse events (SAEs), compared to zero with the other vaccines. This reported as 0.1%, as it is out of 7,806. However, the study also states that no hospitalisations were reported for children administered the low dosage of 3 μg. Since it also tells us that 6,033 children received at least one dose of over 3 μg. (or unknown dosage), the rate in the relevant cohort is closer to 0.2%, or around one in 500. Four of the hospitalisations were for cardiovascular injury; one child was hospitalised after both doses for this reason. Four were pulmonary (lung) related. Symptoms of the hospitalised children lasted an average of 12.2 days and a maximum of 60 days. None reported a myocarditis diagnosis. Mercifully, no deaths were reported in this relatively small sample.

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Knots

 

 

 

 

Denzel

 

 

 

 

Blue wave+

 

 

City over the river

 

 

Pillars of Creation, known from Hubble, now captured by Webb telescope. Each pillar is about 3 light-years (over 27 trillion km) in width.

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 112022
 
 October 11, 2022  Posted by at 8:15 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  50 Responses »


Paul Gauguin By the stream, autumn 1885

 

You Can Always Dream (Jim Kunstler)
Ukraine’s ‘Nazi Regime’ Must Be Dismantled – Medvedev (RT)
A Nice Bridge You Got There… (Dmitry Orlov)
West Has Now Set A Course On Total Terrorist Warfare (Saker)
Terror On Crimea Bridge Forces Russia To Unleash Shock’n Awe (Escobar)
All Quiet on the Eastern Front? Not At All, Atlantis (Batiushka)
Russian MOD Comments On Results Of Strikes In Ukraine (RT)
Ukraine Halts Electricity Exports To EU (RT)
Dancing In The Streets…. (Denninger)
Hard Winter Ahead For Europe – Erdogan (RT)
Putin Meeting With Permanent Members Of The Russian Security Council (Saker)
Before Ukraine Blew Up Kerch Bridge, British Spies Plotted It (GZ)
Global Pandemic Response was a House of Cards (McCullough)
Trump Shreds Four Former Presidents, Hillary Clinton (CB)
Julian Assange and Our Impunity Democracy (Bovard)

 

 

George Webb’s predictions are quite specific. A Kissinger initiated peace conferece will start – in about 10 days. After all the lights go out in Ukraine, and after Russia detonates a small neutron bomb -tennis ball size- along with some plutonium, deep underneath a steel plant like Azovstal. The west will pay well over $300 billion for its reconstruction.

 

 

 

 

Ladapo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lassalle
https://twitter.com/i/status/1579567313082544129

 

 

 

 

“Message: if you think we’re fucking around, consider this an attitude adjustment opportunity.”

You Can Always Dream (Jim Kunstler)

Forgive me for repeating what I’ve written more than once before: Russia will not benefit from having a broken, failed state on its doorstep. Such a situation would clearly just invite more international hugger-mugger. Rather, Russia will benefit hugely from having a neutral, functioning Ukraine next door, a state with ample agricultural resources that could plausibly feed its people and live in peace, perhaps even enjoy special trade privileges with its bigger neighbor to the east… a Ukraine that would be a geographical buffer between Russia and what is apt to be a very disorderly and distressed Western Europe on the other side. The Ukrainian leader, Mr. Zelenskyy, capped off the weeks of sabotage by appealing to the US and NATO to conduct “preemptive nuclear strikes” against Russia proper.

That’ll work in Ukraine’s favor, I’m sure. He promised to call German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and make the pitch for NATO jumping into the action on the ground. (And with whose army would that be?) Such cheek from this desperado! Going mad-dog is probably not a sign of confidence. As of Monday, October 10, Russia began delivering some disciplinary actions against Mr. Zelenskyy’s insolent regime. Russia sent missiles into at least 10 Ukrainian cities, targeting electric power generation, water, central heating, and other “key services” in Kiev and elsewhere. Message: if you think we’re fucking around, consider this an attitude adjustment opportunity.

The action is an overture to a strategic shift. Russia aims to speed up the game clock, consolidate its ownership of the Donbas provinces, destroy Ukraine’s remaining military capability, bust up enough stuff to perhaps prompt the Ukrainian people to ask whether continuing to follow Mr. Zelenskyy’s gang is a good idea, and leave no alternative to talks that will leave Ukraine neutralized. Mr. Putin is calling “Joe Biden’s” bluff. All of this could have been avoided, of course, if the maniacs of America’s deep state had simply abided by the promise made thirty years ago to not expand NATO. What part of that deal didn’t we understand? Apparently, all of it. On purpose. Because we have acted with conscious and arrogant dishonor.

Of course, our “president” could commence that nuclear war he affects to be so avid for. It would be a fitting career-capper for the Ol’ Dawg. The show-runner behind all this needless mayhem, former President Barack Obama, reminded us a while back: “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to fuck things up.” Roger that, BHO! Which gets back to that dream I had of the headline: BIDEN ARRESTED. It was good, but not enough. How about : BIDEN, OBAMA, AND 639 FEDERAL OFFICIALS IN NINE AGENCIES ARRESTED. What a strange moment in our long and steadfast history as an orderly Republic that would be. And yet, what a perfect ending to these years of perfidy and travail.

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No nukes, no NATO, no nazis.

Ukraine’s ‘Nazi Regime’ Must Be Dismantled – Medvedev (RT)

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday called for a “complete dismantling” of Ukraine’s “political regime.” Writing on Telegram, Medvedev, who now serves as deputy head of the Security Council, shared his “personal opinion,” claiming that the current “Nazi political regime” in Kiev will represent “a constant, direct and clear threat to Russia.” “Therefore, in addition to protecting our people and protecting the borders of the country, our future actions, in my opinion, should be aimed at a complete dismantling of the political regime of Ukraine,” Medvedev said. Commenting on the numerous missile strikes carried out across Ukraine on Monday morning, the former Russian leader said that that was a “first episode” and that “there will be others.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier on Monday confirmed that the major operation against Ukrainian infrastructure was in response to the October 8 attack on the Crimean Bridge. Moscow considers it an act of terrorism organized by the Ukrainian security services. Claiming that “the Kiev regime has been using terrorist methods for a very long time,” Putin warned Ukraine against further attacks on Russian soil. Otherwise, Kiev will face a response “on a scale corresponding to the threats created against Russia,” the president said. Meanwhile, Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the attack on the Crimean Bridge, despite the country’s top officials openly celebrating the deadly explosion.

The EU condemned Monday’s shelling of Ukrainian cities by Moscow, with the bloc’s top diplomat Josep Borrell pledging to provide more military assistance to Kiev in response. The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that its forces had carried out multiple strikes “on objects of military command and control systems, communications and energy of Ukraine.” Kiev, Lviv, Kharkov, Odessa and other cities were targeted, according to the local authorities, while regions across Ukraine are facing blackouts and rotating power cuts.

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“..there was no land connecting Crimea to the rest of Russia; but now that Kherson and Donetsk are again part of Russia, traffic from Simferopol to Rostov can be sent around the northern shore of Sea of Azov..”

A Nice Bridge You Got There… (Dmitry Orlov)

A truck bomb exploded on the bridge that links Crimea with Krasnodar, shutting it down for almost a whole day. Oh, and before we forget, Krasny Liman, a railroad junction in Donetsk was temporarily surrendered to the relentlessly attacking Ukrainians (mostly Polish mercenaries, actually) who drenched it in their blood and festooned it with their billowing entrails in the process. These and other less significant events have caused some small but noisy part of Russian social media to explode in consternation, baying for revenge and generally acting dissatisfied with the progress made since the Special Operation was declared on February 22, 2022. Sure enough, plenty of these hysterical voices are actually paid Ukrainian agents tasked with spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt and, sure enough, the Special Operation will proceed regardless, so this is all just a temporary annoyance.

But I will comment on it because I feel that I have to, and then move on to more important things. The bridge across the Kerch Strait was under discussion for many decades. It was in the planning stages even while Crimea was still an autonomy within the constitutionally intact Ukraine, prior to the US-instigated violent coup of 2014. After Crimea rejoined Russia, it became extremely important to create a ground transportation link between it and the mainland, and the bridge was built in record time. It was a massive undertaking and is a high-prestige item for the Russian government. But there have also been some organizational issues. As it stands, yesterday a large tractor-trailer packed with explosives was detonated on the highway portion of the bridge just as a cargo train with cisterns of diesel was passing through.

The resulting explosion demolished two reinforced concrete highway spans and sooted up the rail bed. All train traffic and half of the road traffic were restarted that very day. There is equipment to X-ray all cargo passing through, but it wasn’t being used because of certain bureaucratic inadequacies; these, I am sure, will now be remedied. The reason the bridge was extremely important was because there was no land connecting Crimea to the rest of Russia; but now that Kherson and Donetsk are again part of Russia, traffic from Simferopol to Rostov can be sent around the northern shore of Sea of Azov (which is now an entirely Russian body of water); the difference is between 690km and 730km. The bridge is by means superfluous because the distance to Krasnodar, another regional hub, is 1030km by land and just 460km via the bridge. But the new land route from Moscow to Simferopol is 350km shorter.

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“.. the West’s “redirection” towards terrorism is an admission of military, economic and political defeat.”

West Has Now Set A Course On Total Terrorist Warfare (Saker)

From what I have read, a truck filled with explosives blew up, killing three people in a car nearby, and then the flames took over a train also crossing the bridge. That train was full of fuel. It is only thanks to the amazing speed at which the bridge crews reacted that the damage was limited to only 9 wagons and, therefore, to a much shorter segment of the rail tracks. Looking at the video, one would imagine that the bridge is in ruins. In fact, traffic was reestablished on both rail tracks and the road in less than 24 hours (with the exception of heavy trucks). In other words, this is yet another case of “it is humiliating, but not dangerous” But that is an increasingly mistaken notion: this time is also VERY dangerous.

It is self-evident that the Kiev regime would never have had the means, technical and political, to execute such an attack without being told to do so by its masters in the West. Such an attack, right on the heels of the attacks on of NS1/NS2 shows beyond any doubt that West has now set a course on total terrorist warfare. This makes sense, since for all the so-called “victories” of the NATO forces in the Ukraine, the reality is that they reconquered a few villages and towns while Russia liberated and then incorporated entire regions. And Russia did that while always being at a numerical disadvantage. And while inflicting 10:1 KIA ratios. In other words the West’s “redirection” towards terrorism is an admission of military, economic and political defeat.

While this is hardly a surprise, the West *always* uses terrorism against sovereign governments, this is still a very negative development for Russia. Simply put, there are always more targets than cops/guards. Furthermore, terrorists can always chose the time and location of their attacks. So far, the Ukronazi efforts in Russia yielded very little tangible benefits: the murder of Dugina made her into a martyr, the attack on NS1/NS2 really only hurt Germany and the EU, while the explosion on Crimean Bridge has proven that this is a very hard target which will be extremely hard to destroy short of using a tactical nuke.

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“The lightning strike de facto metastasizing of SMO into CTO means that the regime in Kiev and those supporting it are now considered as legitimate targets..”

Terror On Crimea Bridge Forces Russia To Unleash Shock’n Awe (Escobar)

So we had, in sequence, Ukrainian terrorists blowing up Darya Dugina’s car in a Moscow suburb (they admitted it); US/UK special forces (partially) blowing Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 (they admitted and then retracted); and the terror attack on Krymsky Most (once again: admitted then retracted). Not to mention the shelling of Russian villages in Belgorod, NATO supplying long-range weapons to Kiev, and the routine execution of Russian soldiers. Darya Dugina, Nord Streams and Crimea Bridge make it an Act of War trifecta. So this time the response was inevitable – not even waiting for the first meeting since February of the Russian Security Council scheduled for the afternoon of 10 October.

Moscow launched the first wave of a Russian Shock’n Awe without even changing the status of the Special Military Operation (SMO) to Counter-Terrorist Operation (CTO), with all its serious military/legal implications. After all, even before the UN Security Council meeting, Russian public opinion was massively behind taking the gloves off. Putin had not even scheduled bilateral meetings with any of the members. Diplomatic sources hint that the decision to let the hammer come down had already been taken over the weekend. Shock’n Awe did not wait for the announcement of an ultimatum to Ukraine (that may come in a few days); an official declaration of war (not necessary); or even announcing which ‘”decision-making centers” in Ukraine would be hit.

The lightning strike de facto metastasizing of SMO into CTO means that the regime in Kiev and those supporting it are now considered as legitimate targets, just like ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra during the Anti-Terror Operation (ATO) in Syria. And the change of status – now this is a real war on terror – means that terminating all strands of terrorism, physical, cultural, ideological, are the absolute priority, and not the safety of Ukrainian civilians. During the SMO, safety of civilians was paramount. Even the UN has been forced to admit that in over seven months of SMO the number of civilian casualties in Ukraine has been relatively low.

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‘The entry of the four provinces into Russia is not the last’.

All Quiet on the Eastern Front? Not At All, Atlantis (Batiushka)

We are still having our minds blown by President Putin’s Speech over a week ago. How many times we have listened to it and watched it. If I may say something personal, I can say that I have not even dared dream for over 40 years that a Russian leader would make such a speech. I thought I would die long before it would happen, even if it did happen. I was waiting for the end of the world and now hope has been given us. The President said it all, summing up an evil millennium of Western history, starting with its worldwide plunder and ending in its shameful Woke ideologies, the denial and destruction of Spiritual Reality, National Sovereignty and Family Life. Yes, this is Satanism against any sort of Spiritual Tradition. And only Russia has dared to oppose this Satanism. Needless to say, we stand behind the Russian Federation 100%. As the President, our President, said: ‘Nothing will be as before’.

The results from the referenda on returning to Russia in four Russian-speaking Ukrainian provinces came in nearly two weeks ago: Donetsk: 99% Lugansk: 98% Zaporozhie: 93% Kherson: 87%. Thus, on 30 September these four provinces, the size of four Belgiums, duly joined the Russian Federation, following the example of the Crimea over eight years ago. The results were interesting, as they showed how popularity for the move ‘declines’ as you move westwards, with Kherson at ‘only’ 87%. However, nobody should be surprised that Russian-speaking areas overwhelmingly, even if ‘only’ 87%, wanted to return to Russia, which is where they belonged until 1922. The voting, ethnicity, linguistic and religious patterns are clear from, for example, the maps and analysis of the Eurasian Research Institute.

Nobody should be surprised, unless of course they have no common sense, or else their common sense has been blinded by their ‘West is Best’ ideology, which is in fact the essence of Nazism. Nearly 10,000,000 people, nearly one quarter of the population of the Crimea-less Ukraine (pre-War population) (more people than those in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Georgia combined), some 20% of the landmass of the Crimea-less Ukraine, an area nearly the size of England, joined the Russian Federation. Out of 25 provinces in the Ukraine before the violent, US-organised overthrow of the democratically-elected Ukrainian government (cost to the US taxpayer: $5 billion) in February 2014, 20 are now left. Who leaves next? As the head of the Republic of the Crimea, Sergei Aksjonov, said on 1 October: ‘The entry of the four provinces into Russia is not the last’.

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“The goal of the strike has been achieved. All designated objects have been hit..”

Russian MOD Comments On Results Of Strikes In Ukraine (RT)

A rocket barrage that targeted Ukrainian military objects and infrastructure has accomplished its goal, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed on Monday. The attack came after Moscow accused Kiev of orchestrating a deadly explosion on the strategic Crimean Bridge. Speaking at a regular briefing, Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov noted that Russia had used high-precision and long-range weapons to hit objects on Ukrainian territory, including “military command facilities, communications and energy systems.”“The goal of the strike has been achieved. All designated objects have been hit,” he noted.

His comments came hours after Russia struck multiple targets in Kiev, with the city’s Mayor Vitaly Klitschko claiming that “critical infrastructure” had been affected. The attack also apparently hit Vladimirskaya Street, where the main office of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) is based, according to Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the interior minister. Apart from Kiev, several other Ukrainian cities were targeted, including Dnepr in east of the country, and Lviv in the west. Following the strikes, Ukrainian authorities reported blackouts in Lviv, Poltava, Sumy, Kharkov and Ternopol Regions, adding that in other parts of the country power supply had been partially disrupted.

On Monday, President Vladimir Putin warned Ukraine that if it orchestrates any new terrorist attacks on Russia, it “will respond firmly and on a scale corresponding to the threats created against” it. The attacks follow a powerful explosion that rocked the Crimean Bridge on Saturday, killing three and causing the partial collapse of the road section, as well as a blaze on the parallel railway span. While Ukrainian officials did not directly assume responsibility for the explosion, on Sunday Putin claimed that it was the Ukrainian intelligence service that had orchestrated the blast.

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“The cynicism is that the entire supply chain has been hit..” “It’s both electricity distribution systems and generation.”

Ukraine Halts Electricity Exports To EU (RT)

Damage to energy infrastructure caused by Moscow’s air strikes has forced Ukraine’s government to cut off electricity exports to the European Union, taking away a supply source that Kiev claims helped its partners reduce their reliance on power generated with Russian natural gas. “Today’s missile strikes, which hit the thermal generation and electrical substations, forced Ukraine to suspend electricity exports from October 11, 2022, to stabilize its own energy system,” the Ukrainian energy ministry said on Monday in a statement. The ministry noted that even after losing control of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant to Russian forces in March, Kiev had been able to meet its export commitments to European partners, but Monday’s attacks were the largest of the entire conflict.

“The cynicism is that the entire supply chain has been hit,” Energy Minister German Galushchenko said. “It’s both electricity distribution systems and generation. The enemy’s goal is to make it difficult to reconnect electricity supplies from other sources.” Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday’s air strikes on Kiev and other major Ukrainian cities – targeting military, energy and communications infrastructure – came in response to Ukraine’s attack on the strategic Crimean Bridge on Saturday. “If there are further attempts to conduct terrorist attacks on our soil, Russia will respond firmly and on a scale corresponding to the threats created against Russia,” Putin announced. Galushchenko, however, accused Moscow of waging “energy terror” in retaliation for Kiev helping other countries reduce their dependence on Russia.

After joining European energy system ENTSO-E back in June, Kiev said it expected to earn some €1.5 billion from electricity exports to the EU by the end of the year. “That is why Russia is destroying our energy system, killing the very possibility of exporting electricity from Ukraine,”the energy minister claimed. Ukrenergo, the national power grid operator, claimed its specialists have been “engaging backup supply schemes” and repaired some of the damage by Monday night. In the meantime the ministry urged “all citizens of Ukraine to unite” and minimize their energy use during the peak demand hours, arguing that not only Ukraine is implementing measures to reduce power consumption, but the “whole of Europe is doing this now.”

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“..if you, ladies and gentlemen, support beyond that point the Government of Ukraine, either in word or deed you support the backing and outright commission of terrorism.”

Dancing In The Streets…. (Denninger)

Who remembers those that danced in the streets and cheered when 9/11 happened? You’re old enough to remember that, right? It wasn’t that long ago. I remember it quite well and the level of revulsion I had for those who participated was visceral and permanent; it remains even today. The detonation on the land bridge to Crimea at first looked like perhaps part of an act of War; special forces or something like that who managed to infiltrate into the area and blow it up. That happens during wars. Except… a closer look discloses that this was clearly not such a thing at all. Indeed it appears to be a simple truck bomb and it was primarily aimed at civilians and civilian infrastructure. In other words exactly as was Oklahoma City or the first attempt at the World Trade Center in the case of a truck bomb, and exactly as were two airliners aimed at the Twin Towers.


Those were all…… terrorism. Do recall that after 9/11 some of the cheerleading was done by government actors in certain other nations. Well, the government of Ukraine has officially endorsed the truck bombing that, near as we can tell, killed only civilians. According to the NY Times, it would appear, they not only endorsed it they orchestrated it. In other words Zelinskyy is reasonably compared against Bin Laden, the Blind Sheikh or Timothy McVeigh. So if you, ladies and gentlemen, support beyond that point the Government of Ukraine, either in word or deed you support the backing and outright commission of terrorism. I find your actions equally revolting — and I will forevermore — exactly as I found those who danced when the towers came down. And that’s a fact.

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“..the next one “will be even more difficult.”

Hard Winter Ahead For Europe – Erdogan (RT)

European countries are about to face significant difficulties this winter amid limited deliveries of Russian natural gas, Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday. Speaking at the TUGVA youth forum, Türkiye’s leader noted that the whole continent “is on fire now.” “The entire Europe is wondering: ‘How will this winter go?’” he said. Meanwhile, according to Erdogan, his country will have no issues with energy resources in the coming months. “Thank God, we have made all our preparations… we have prepared everything for our nation, both natural gas and coal,” he stated. He also noted that the main issue for the nation is “how to deliver natural gas to our citizens at more affordable prices,” adding that Ankara is doing its best to achieve this goal. Erdogan went on to explain that Ankara is acting as a leading mediator between Ukraine and Russia, which have been locked in conflict since late February.


Several months ago, Ankara and the UN brokered a deal between Moscow and Kiev that unblocked Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea. Erdogan has also repeatedly urged the two parties to strike a peace deal. His comments come as Europe is reeling from an energy crisis fueled by skyrocketing gas prices due to sanctions the West has imposed on Russia over the conflict. While EU authorities have taken measures to cut energy consumption in a bid to alleviate the situation, various officials and public figures have warned of the desperate situation the continent may find itself. Earlier this month, Microsoft founder Bill Gates claimed that in a few months Europe may face a “very scary situation” as many could be unable to heat their homes. In late September, EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson also predicted that this winter “will not be easy,” adding that the next one “will be even more difficult.”

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“..the Kiev regime, by its actions, has actually put itself on the same level as international terrorist groups, and with the most odious of those. It is simply no longer possible to leave crimes of this kind without retaliation.”

Putin Meeting With Permanent Members Of The Russian Security Council (Saker)

The President held a briefing session with permanent members of the Security Council, via videoconference. “Colleagues, good afternoon, You know that yesterday Chairman of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin reported to me on the first results of the investigation into the act of sabotage on the Crimean Bridge. The forensic and other expert data, as well as operational information, show that the October 8 explosion was an act of terrorism aimed at destroying Russia’s civilian and critical infrastructure. It is also clear that the Ukrainian special services were the organisers and perpetrators of the attack. The Kiev regime has long been using terrorist methods, including murders of public figures, journalists and scientists, both in Ukraine and in Russia.

And terrorist attacks on towns in Donbass, which have been going on for more than eight years. And also acts of nuclear terrorism, by which I mean missile and artillery strikes on the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. This is not the whole story: Ukraine’s special services have also carried out three terrorist acts against Russia’s Kursk Nuclear Power Plant, repeatedly blowing up the plant’s high-voltage lines. The third such terrorist attack damaged three of those lines at once. The damage was repaired in the shortest possible time and there were no serious consequences. However, there have been a number of other terrorist attacks and attempts to commit similar crimes against electricity generation and gas transportation infrastructure facilities in our country, including an attempt to blow up a section of the TurkStream gas pipeline system.

All this has been proven by objective data, including the testimony of the detained perpetrators. It is well known that Russian representatives are not allowed to take part in the investigation into the causes of explosions at and the destruction of international gas pipelines running under the Baltic Sea. But we all know who ultimately benefits from this crime. Thus, the Kiev regime, by its actions, has actually put itself on the same level as international terrorist groups, and with the most odious of those. It is simply no longer possible to leave crimes of this kind without retaliation.”

Putin

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“..Britain’s evident interest in planning such an attack underscores the deep involvement of NATO powers in the Ukraine proxy war..”

Before Ukraine Blew Up Kerch Bridge, British Spies Plotted It (GZ)

The secret British intelligence plot to blow up Crimea’s Kerch Bridge is revealed in internal documents and correspondence obtained exclusively by The Grayzone. The Grayzone has obtained an April 2022 presentation drawn up for senior British intelligence officers hashing out an elaborate scheme to blow up Crimea’s Kerch Bridge with the involvement of specially trained Ukrainian soldiers. Almost six months after the plan was circulated, Kerch Bridge was attacked in an October 8th suicide bombing apparently overseen by Ukraine’s SBU intelligence services. Detailed proposals for providing “audacious” support to Kiev’s “maritime raiding operations” were drafted at the request of Chris Donnelly, a senior British Army intelligence operative and veteran high ranking NATO advisor. The wide-ranging plan’s core component was “destruction of the bridge over the Kerch Strait.”

Documents and correspondence plotting the operation were provided to The Grayzone by an anonymous source. The truck bombing of the Kerch Bridge differed operationally from the plot sketched therein. Yet, Britain’s evident interest in planning such an attack underscores the deep involvement of NATO powers in the Ukraine proxy war. At almost precisely the time that London reportedly sabotaged peace talks between Kiev and Moscow in April this year, British military intelligence operatives were drawing up blueprints to destroy a major Russian bridge crossed by thousands of civilians per day. The roadmap was produced by Hugh Ward, a British military veteran. A number of strategies for helping Ukraine “pose a threat to Russian naval forces” in the Black Sea are outlined.

The overriding objectives are stated as aiming to “degrade” Russia’s ability to blockade Kiev, “erode” Moscow’s “warfighting capability”, and isolate Russian land and maritime forces in Crimea by “denying resupply by sea and overland via Kerch bridge.” In an email, Ward asked Donnelly to “please protect this document,” and it’s easy to see why. Of these assorted plans, only the “Kerch Bridge Raid CONOPS [concept of operation]” is subject to a dedicated annex at the conclusion of Ward’s report, underlining its significance. The content amounts to direct, detailed advocacy for the commission of what could constitute a grave war crime. Markedly, in plotting ways to destroy a major passenger bridge, there is no reference to avoiding civilian casualties.

Across three separate pages, alongside diagrams, the author spells out the terms of the “mission” – “[disabling] the Kerch Bridge in a way that is audacious, disrupts road and rail access to Crimea and maritime access to the Sea of Azov.” Ward suggests that destroying the bridge “would require a cruise missile battery to hit the two concrete pillars either side of the central steel arch, which will cause a complete structural failure,” and “prevent any road re-supply from the Russian mainland to Crimea and temporally [sic] disrupt the shipping lane.”

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4 pillars.

Global Pandemic Response was a House of Cards (McCullough)

The last and longest hearing occurred on January 24, 2022, the day after the Defeat the Mandates Rally in Washington where tens of thousands of Americans gathered to hear about the unjust mandates from doctors, nurses, scientists, religious leaders, employment groups, and entertainers and journalists. The January 24, 2022, hearing was co-moderated by Dr. McCullough and this time had dozens of doctors, nurses, patients, attorneys, and press in attendance. In a roundtable presentations were given, and questions were answered on the “Four Pillars of Pandemic Response.” These principles of how a nation should use its public health and clinical resources to respond to a novel infectious outbreak were presented and published by Dr. McCullough in the fall of 2020: 1) contagion control, 2) early ambulatory treatment, 3) late treatment in the hospital, 4) vaccination.

The reason why McCullough’s four pillars are so important is that a balanced approach would have provided the most immediate relief and care to those who are ill at the moment to reduce hospitalizations and deaths while developing a longer-run strategy. The four pillars should have been the framework for monthly updates from the White House Task Force and the CDC/NIH/FDA with input from teams of practicing doctors and experts on each of the pillars. So when doing an evaluation of how America and the world performed in the COVID-19 crisis, the four pillars of pandemic response is a vital framework upon which to craft the exercise.


This structure can also apply to any local community, hospital, health system or other jurisdiction. Every single organization who acted in a capacity of making decisions during the pandemic and took responsibility on policy decisions should take the time and effort to do a post-mortem evaluation using the four pillars—it is likely they will quickly see their imbalanced set of errors—largely ones of omission on the pillars of early and late treatment cost hundreds of thousands of lives and millions of avoidable hospitalizations. Without the four pillars, global pandemic response was a house of cards.

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“But almost as bad, crooked Hillary deleted 33,000 emails under congressional subpoena. She acid-washed them. … [It’s a] very expensive process. That’s why nobody does it.”

Trump Shreds Four Former Presidents, Hillary Clinton (CB)

Former President Donald Trump tore into three former presidents and President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice at his most recent rally. The former president was in Nevada on Saturday when he insisted that the raid on Mar-a-Lago and the way he has been treated would not have happened to any other president, and he claimed to have proof. “This is a new hoax: the document hoax. Just look at how every other president has been treated when they left office. Very interesting. They’ve been given all the time needed [to return documents] — because you’re supposed to have as much time as you need — and complete deference when it came to their documents and their papers. ‘Take as much as you need,’” he said.

“Barack Hussein Obama moved more than 20 truckloads, over 33 million pages of documents, both classified and unclassified, to a poorly built and unsafe former furniture store located in a bad neighborhood in Chicago. With no security, by the way,” he said. He then went on to former President George W. Bush. “George W. Bush stored 68 million pages in a warehouse in Texas and lost 22 million emails. Can you imagine if I lost two emails? They’d say, ‘This is terrible. It must have been nuclear in those two.’ … He lost 22 million. Can you believe that we’re talking about millions of pages and they’re coming after me? But they’re still looking for them. They’re still looking for those pages,” he said before going for former President Bill Clinton.

“Bill Clinton took millions of documents from the White House to a former car dealership in Arkansas … and kept classified recordings in his sock drawer. In fact, he supposedly put the information from the White House into his socks and left the White House with the information, so we call it the sock case,” the former president said. “If I did that, there’d be major trouble and NARA — you know NARA, the National Archives and Records Administration — ‘lost’ an entire hard drive full of information from the Clinton White House. They lost it. They can’t find it,” he said. He then hit his favorite target, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, his opponent in the 2016 presidential election. “But almost as bad, crooked Hillary deleted 33,000 emails under congressional subpoena. She acid-washed them. … [It’s a] very expensive process. That’s why nobody does it. And then pounded her phones with hammers, making them totally unrecognizable to the naked eye. So she took those phones and she pounded the hell out of them,” the former president said.

He then went as far back as the late former President George H.W. Bush. “Meanwhile, George H.W bush took millions of documents to a former bowling alley and a former Chinese restaurant. … By contrast, I had a small number of boxes and storage at Mar-A-Lago — very small, relatively — guarded by the great Secret Service. And yet the FBI, with many people, raided my house. It’s in violation, by the way, of the Fourth Amendment, and many other things also,” he said. “The radical left thinks by doing all these sinister and venomous things, they’re making us weaker, but actually they are making us stronger and much more unified than ever before. I really believe that. I believe that,” the former president said.

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“Americans today are more likely to believe in witches, ghosts, and astrology than to trust the federal government.”

Julian Assange and Our Impunity Democracy (Bovard)

When the federal indictment against Assange was announced in 2019, a New York Times editorial declared that it was “aimed straight at the heart of the First Amendment” and would have a “chilling effect on American journalism as it has been practiced for generations.” Unfortunately, Americans and foreigners continue to suffer because of the perennial cover-ups of U.S. foreign interventions. After Britain arrested Assange on behalf of the U.S. government in 2019, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) whooped that Assange “is our property and we can get the facts and the truth from him.” But Manchin had no recommendations on how Americans can “get the facts and the truth” from the federal government. Biden has ramped up U.S. bombings in Somalia: who exactly are we killing? It is a secret. Which Syrian terrorist groups are the U.S. government still bankrolling? It’s a secret. Why is the U.S. continuing to assist Saudi atrocities against Yemeni civilians? It’s a secret.

And then there’s the biggest and most dangerous secret operation on the horizon right now – the U.S. intervention in the Russia-Ukraine war. Folks can condemn Russia and support Ukraine without believing that Washington policymakers deserve a blank check to potentially drag America into a nuclear war. Are CIA analysts or Pentagon officials issuing warnings about U.S. government actions in this conflict could lead to a spiral that ends in catastrophe? Unfortunately, Americans won’t learn of any such memos until damage has been done. And if a disaster occurs, then we’ll see the same sham that occurred after the Iraq War – some Senate Committee blathering that no one is to blame because everyone in Washington was a victim of “group think.”

Federal prosecutors stress that Assange leaked “classified” information. But federal agencies are creating trillions of pages of new “classified’ secrets each year. Yet, any information which is classified is treated like a political holy relic that cannot be exposed without cursing the nation. Pervasive secrecy helps explain the collapse of trust in Washington. Americans today are more likely to believe in witches, ghosts, and astrology than to trust the federal government. Adding Assange’s scalp to the Justice Department’s trophy wall will do nothing to end the mistrust of the political ruling class that has dragged America into so many debacles. Assange is guilty of lese-majeste – embarrassing the government by exposing their follies, frauds, and crimes. Assange declared years ago, “If wars can be started by lies, they can be stopped by truth.” Dropping the charges against Assange is the best way for the Biden administration to prove it is serious about ending excessive secrecy.

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Stossel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Athens 1959

 

 


In 2015, photographer Atif Saeed captured this intense photograph of a male lion moments before it launched an attack on him. He narrowly escaped with this incredible shot of a face-to-face with a lion about to kill.

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Oct 092022
 


Paul Gauguin Portrait of Ingeborg Thaulow 1877

 

Crimean Bridge Explosion Just ‘The Beginning,’ Ukraine Says (RT)
Kiev Amasses Troops On Donbass Border – Official (RT)
US Comments On Zelensky’s ‘Preemptive Strike’ Appeal (RT)
Michael Hudson: A Roadmap To Escape The West’s Stranglehold (Escobar)
US Asked Hungary To Invade Serbia – President Vucic (RT)
Putin Wants ‘Grand Bargain’ – Türkiye (RT)
NATO Should Give Ukraine ‘Everything We Have’ – Lithuania (RT)
Fanaticism Of The Apocalypse (Shellenberger)
Elon Musk, Former Exec Lead Backlash Against PayPal (DW)
Cynical Defense Of Hunter Biden: I Was Addicted To Drugs (Turley)
Lapado: Covid mRNA Vaccine- 84% Increased Risk of Death For Men Ages 18-39 (PM)
England’s Heatwaves See Highest Ever Excess Deaths Among Elderly (R.)
My Trip to Space Filled Me With ‘Overwhelming Sadness’ (William Shatner)

 

 

#TwoWords:


Dementia

 

 

 

 

Maté

 

 

 

 

Rus Prop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both car – and train traffic has been resumed. But the provocations will continue. Until Russia reacts in a way that can be used as a excuse for a large scale attack.

Crimean Bridge Explosion Just ‘The Beginning,’ Ukraine Says (RT)

The blast that rocked the Crimean Bridge early on Saturday is just “the beginning,” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s aide, Mikhail Podoliak, has said. The bridge was closed in the early hours of Saturday after a truck exploded, damaging the road and causing a huge fire. “Crimea, the bridge, the beginning,”Podoliak tweeted. “Everything illegal must be destroyed, everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine, everything occupied by Russia must be expelled.” Ukrainian officials have promised to attack the Crimean Bridge, which connects the Russian peninsula of Crimea to the country’s Krasnodar Region, on numerous occasions during the conflict between Moscow and Kiev.


In August, Podoliak said that Europe’s largest bridge “should be destroyed” because it’s “an illegal construction and the main gateway to supply the Russian army in Crimea.” Zelensky and other members of his team have also stated that Ukraine will use force to retake Crimea, which overwhelmingly voted to reunite with Russia in a referendum in 2014. The blast occurred at around 6am local time, causing a partial collapse of the road on the section for vehicles. A blaze also broke out on the parallel rail section, where seven fuel tanks caught fire. Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee said that a truck exploded as it was traveling along the 19-km-long structure. The fire has been extinguished, and the damage caused by the blast is being assessed. The Crimean authorities said a ferry service will be provided while the bridge is being repaired.

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40,000 troops on the Russian border..

Kiev Amasses Troops On Donbass Border – Official (RT)

Kiev has deployed some 40,000 troops to the border with the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), which recently became part of Russia, the LPR’s top representative in Moscow, Rodion Miroshnik, has said. “In the areas where attempts of a breakthrough are being made [by Kiev’s forces], large quantities of manpower and hardware have been concentrated on the Ukrainian side,” Miroshnik said during an appearance on the Soloviev Live program on YouTube on Friday. According to estimates by the LPR’s forces, “we’re talking about 40,000 men,” the official added.


Kiev’s troops have been gathering to the north and northwest of the LPR, as well as in the area around the town of Krasny Liman in the Donetsk People’s Republic, from where Russian forces withdrew a week ago amid a Ukrainian offensive, Miroshnik added. On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin signed into law unification treaties with the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, officially making them part of Russia. The four territories overwhelmingly supported the move during referendums in late September.

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“a monster, whose hands can destroy the planet.”

US Comments On Zelensky’s ‘Preemptive Strike’ Appeal (RT)

The US is not about to get directly involved in the hostilities between Moscow and Kiev, a State Department spokesman said on Friday, after Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky had urged the West to conduct “preventive strikes” against Russia. When asked about the Ukrainian leader’s latest appeal to the West, State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said that the administration of US President Joe Biden has repeatedly stated that it has no intention of taking part in the fighting. “As long as the United States or our allies are not attacked, we are not going to get directly engaged in this conflict either by putting American troops to fight in Ukraine or attacking Russian forces,” he reiterated, adding that Washington’s message on this matter has been “very clear.”

On Thursday, Zelensky, speaking at an online conference at the Australian Lowy Institute, called for “preventive strikes” against Russia so that Moscow knew what to expect should it resort to nuclear weapons. Later, Zelensky’s press secretary attempted to clarify these remarks, arguing that they should not be interpreted as a request for NATO to attack Russia. The Ukrainian leader himself also stepped in, telling BBC on Friday that he had meant “preventive kicks, not attacks.” The UK outlet also clarified that Zelensky was “referring to sanctions.”

The comments made by the Ukrainian president sparked a backlash from Moscow, which accused him of attempting to spark a world war, which would lead to “unforeseeable disastrous consequences.” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova went so far as to describe him as “a monster, whose hands can destroy the planet.” Russia has repeatedly stated that a nuclear war should never be fought, while Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu in August made it clear that Moscow is not considering a nuclear strike on Ukraine, given that there are no targets warranting such drastic measures.

2016

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“US policy has created a global state of dependency in which literally There is no alternative but to break away.”

Michael Hudson: A Roadmap To Escape The West’s Stranglehold (Escobar)

Are we reaching the point when the key players of the Global South – over 100 nations – finally get their act together and decide to go for broke and stop the US from keeping the artificial neoliberal global economy in a state of perpetual coma? This means the only possible option, as you have outlined, is to set up a parallel global currency bypassing the US dollar – while the usual suspects float the notion of a Bretton Woods III at best. Is the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) financial casino omnipotent enough to smash any possible competition? Do you envisage any other practical mechanisms apart from what is being discussed by BRICS/ EAEU/ SCO?

Hudson: “A year or two ago it seemed that the task of designing a full-fledged alternative world currency, monetary, credit and trading system was so complex that the details hardly could be thought through. But US sanctions have proved to be the needed catalyst to make such discussions pragmatically urgent. The confiscation of Venezuela’s gold reserves in London and its US investments, the confiscation of $300 billion of Russia’s foreign-exchange reserves held in the United States and Europe, and its threat to do the same to China and other countries resisting US foreign policy has made de-dollarization urgent. I have explained the logic in many points, from my Valdai Club article (with Radhika Desai) to my recent book on The Destiny of Civilization, the lecture series that I prepared for Hong Kong and the Global University for Sustainability.

Holding securities denominated in dollars, and even holding gold or investments in the United States and Europe, is no longer a safe option. It is clear that the world is breaking into two quite different types of economies, and that US diplomats and their European satellites are willing to tear up the existing economic order in hopes that creating a disruptive crisis will enable themselves to come out on top. It also is clear that subjugation to the IMF and its austerity plans are economic suicide, and that following World Bank and its neoliberal doctrine of international dependency is self-destructive. The result has been to create an unpayable overhead of debts denominated in US dollars. These debts cannot be paid without borrowing credit from the IMF and accepting terms of economic surrender to US privatizers and speculators.

The only alternative to imposing economic austerity on themselves is to withdraw from the dollar trap in which US-sponsored “free market” economics (markets free from government protection, and free from government ability to recover the environmental damage from US oil companies, mining companies and the associated industrial and food dependency) is to make a clean break. The break will be difficult, and US diplomacy will do everything it can to disrupt the creation of a more resilient economic order. But US policy has created a global state of dependency in which literally There is no alternative but to break away.”

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1999.

US Asked Hungary To Invade Serbia – President Vucic (RT)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic revealed on Saturday that American and British leaders, including President Bill Clinton, urged Hungary to invade Serbia by land in 1999. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who told Vucic of the request, refused. In a televised address, Vucic said that the US and UK wanted Hungarian forces to push south into Serbia in order to split the Yugoslav military between the front in Kosovo and a new front with Hungary. “Clinton and the British asked [Orban] to attack Serbia from the north so that they could extend our forces from Kosovo and Metohija to Vojvodina,” he explained. Orban, who at the time was one year into his first term in office, refused, and with the help of German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, pushed back against the “pressure from the White House.”

Orban told Vucic of the request during a recent meeting and allowed him to speak about it publicly, the Serbian leader said. NATO launched a bombing campaign in 1999 against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which by that time was made up of Serbia and Montenegro. In waging the air war, NATO sided with ethnic Albanian separatists, who were fighting with the Serbs for the independence of Kosovo, a province of Serbia. Hungary had joined NATO earlier that year, but did not participate in the campaign.

According to Vucic, Orban then traveled to the UK for talks with Prime Minister Tony Blair and former PM Margaret Thatcher. Greeting him at the door of Downing Street, Thatcher told Orban “it bothers me a lot that you refused to attack Serbia, that’s why more British soldiers will die,” Vucic said. Ultimately, no British troops died during the campaign. Hostilities ceased in June 1999 with the signing of the Kumanovo Agreement, after which NATO troops moved into Kosovo, where they remain to this day. The bombing campaign marked the first time that the US-led alliance used military force without the approval of the UN Security Council, and is still regarded by much of the world as illegitimate.

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Rebalance. I think I still prefer to use the word “Turkey” when we talk Erdogan.

Putin Wants ‘Grand Bargain’ – Türkiye (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to strike “a new grand bargain” with the West to erase the humiliations of the post-Cold War period, Turkish presidential adviser Ibrahim Kalin told CNN on Saturday. In an interview with the American broadcaster, he said that the Ukraine conflict will inevitably end in a negotiated settlement, with the only question being when, “and how much damage will have been done by then?” Such a settlement will be about more than the borders of Russia and Ukraine, he continued, arguing that what Putin really aims to do is renegotiate the balance of power between Moscow and the West, after a weakened Russia accepted several rounds of NATO expansion in the aftermath of the Cold War. “Our understanding is that Mr. Putin wants to have a new grand bargain, a new deal, with the West,” Kalin said.

The Turkish official referenced agreements signed by Moscow and NATO in the early 1990s – which included the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act, which stated that the alliance would continue to expand, and the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, in which Russia agreed not to use force against its neighbors – as decisions Putin would like to re-do. “The Russian perception is that the Russia of that day, that signed that agreement – that is, the Russia of the Gorbachevs and the Yeltsins – is over,”Kalin claimed. “There is a new Russia, there is a new world, there is a new reality, and they want to have a new bargain.” Putin declared last week that “the ongoing collapse of Western hegemony is irreversible,” and that “things will never be the same.” A multipolar world, he said, will give non-Western nations “an opportunity to strengthen their sovereignty.”

According to Kalin, “This puts of course the entire global order, the liberal order, to a test.” He added: “So far the response has been war from both sides.” Western leaders have not indicated that they intend to negotiate an end to the Ukraine conflict in the near future. Washington’s official line is that it will continue to funnel tens of billions of dollars’ worth of arms to Kiev “for as long as it takes,” and will allow Ukraine to dictate its terms for ending the conflict. Amid the broader conflict between Russia and the West, Türkiye has positioned itself as a middleman, with Ankara hosting peace talks between Russia and Ukraine in March that ultimately broke down. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday called for both sides to return to negotiations, declaring that “even the worst peace will be better than war.”

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Lithuania has nothing.

NATO Should Give Ukraine ‘Everything We Have’ – Lithuania (RT)

NATO countries should arm Ukraine with all available weapons, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis told Ukrainian media on Saturday. However, he expects the alliance’s other members to foot the bill. “Ukraine needs ‘everything we have,’” Landsbergis told Ukrinform, arguing that the Ukrainian military is already capable of working with the alliance’s arsenal now that its troops are receiving training in multiple European countries. While the US has supplied Ukraine with increasingly powerful weaponry, some of its NATO allies have balked at handing over certain arms systems. Germany, for example, refuses to send its most modern Leopard II main battle tanks for fear of causing further escalation. Even in Washington, Pentagon officials have argued that Ukrainian troops would need substantial training to operate Western tanks.

Landsbergis insisted that “these arguments no longer work,” after a series of successful offenses by Kiev’s forces, which are increasingly armed with NATO weapons. “If this is so, I see no reason why Ukraine should not be given everything we have?” the minister said. “I have already said this many times and now I will say it again.” Landsbergis has emerged as one of the most vocally anti-Russian ministers in the EU in the months since Moscow sent its forces into Ukraine. He has threatened Lithuanian entertainers with reprisals for performing in Russia, supported an EU-wide ban on all visas for Russians, and called on NATO to pursue the military defeat of Russia rather than seek a negotiated settlement to the Ukraine conflict.

However, his own military has little to give Ukraine. Landsbergis told Ukrinform that he would only provide “political arguments” for arming Kiev’s forces, as Lithuania does not have its own “significant stockpile of weapons.” While Ukraine has repeatedly called for more and heavier weapons from the West, EU stockpiles are running low, with Germany’s stocks already exhausted as of early September. Although US President Joe Biden has vowed to keep the arms pipeline open for “as long as it takes,” the US is reportedly cautious about delivering more advanced weapons systems. Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that Russia is now facing “the entire Western military machine” in Ukraine. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has also warned that “the US, in fact, is teetering on the brink of turning into a party to the conflict” due to its lavish assistance to Kiev.

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Burn baby burn.

Fanaticism Of The Apocalypse (Shellenberger)

In Europe, they’re burning garbage to stay warm. “It’s so bad this season that you can smell trash burning every day, which is completely new,” said the 35-year-old mother of three from Jablonna, Poland, near Warsaw. “Rarely can you smell a regular fuel. It’s scary to think what happens when it really gets cold.” The Polish government suspended quality regulations on coal burning for those who can still afford it; 60% of households no longer can. Because of all the garbage burning, the government may soon hand out masks so its residents don’t inhale toxic fumes. Said one of Poland’s most powerful politicians last month, “one needs to burn almost everything, except for tires and similarly harmful things.” The government estimates that 40,000 people died annually from premature deaths from air pollution before the current crisis.

Forests are being hammered. In Estonia and Finland, forests that had been set aside to capture carbon dioxide to reduce climate change are now being so heavily logged that they are net emitters. Hungary lifted conservation regulations so old-growth forests could be logged; it then banned the export of wood pellets. “People buy wood pellets thinking they’re the sustainable choice, but in reality, they’re driving the destruction of Europe’s last wild forests,” said one conservationist. Wood pellets prices have doubled even in nuclear-heavy France which, under pressure from Germany, and in the grip of renewable energy mania, had been shutting down its nuclear plants so rapidly that it had stopped properly maintaining them. Romania has been forced to cap the price of firewood, which had skyrocketed. Burning wood releases more greenhouse gas emissions than burning coal, something most experts finally acknowledge.

And Europe is returning to coal as quickly as it can. This year it increased thermal coal imports more than any other region. Coal imports increased by 36% more during the first eight months of 2022 than of 2021. Europe’s coal imports are today 10% of the global total. Germany is importing coal from South Africa, which is ironic because, just one year ago, Germany gave South Africa $810 million in exchange for an agreement that South Africa not use coal. And at the United Nations climate change talks in Scotland less one year ago this month, the UN created a special CGI dinosaur to warn all nations, but particularly Africans, that they must not use fossil fuels, and instead do what Europe was doing and, supposedly, transitioning away from fossil fuels to renewables.

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Is the genius who came up with the idea still working there? Look, you can silence a social media account, but you cannot steal people’s money outright.

Elon Musk, Former Exec Lead Backlash Against PayPal (DW)

PayPal reversed its decision to fine users $2,500 for violating its terms of service after Elon Musk and a former executive led a furious backlash against the move on social media. In a tweet Saturday, former PayPal President David Marcus spoke out against a new policy, first reported by The Daily Wire, that would apparently allow the digital payment processor to charge users $2,500 for posting materials that “promote misinformation” or “present a risk to user safety or wellbeing.” Elon Musk, a co-founder of PayPal, said he agreed with Marcus’ criticism, joining a number of others who have spoken out against the new policy. “It’s hard for me to openly criticize a company I used to love and gave so much to,” Marcus wrote on Twitter.

“But @PayPal’s new AUP goes against everything I believe in. A private company now gets to decide to take your money if you say something they disagree with. Insanity.” “Agreed,” Musk wrote in reply to Marcus. The criticism from Marcus and Musk, who was on the board of directors and briefly CEO of PayPal during its early days, were at the front of a fury of backlash to the proposed policy. “Get your money out of [PayPal] right now,” venture capitalist David Sacks tweeted. “Seriously, close your PayPal account immediately if they don’t reverse this today,” replied Scott Adams, creator of the “Dilbert” comic strip. “Why would anyone use @PayPal ever again?” conservative commentator John Cardillo wrote. “They’ve flat out told you they’re going to steal your money if you disagree with the regime.”

“The ‘misinformation’ police are now extending their reach beyond your social media accounts and into your financial accounts,” author and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy wrote. “PayPal probably isn’t protected by Section 230, so it could face legal liability in states with political nondiscrimination statutes,” Ramaswamy added later. “It’s an easier case to make than against a social media platform.” “Orwellian. Paypal reserves the right to take your money if you post a message that Paypal decides is ‘misinformation,’” former FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said. “This is why it is so vital that state and federal legislatures pass laws that prohibit discrimination by tech companies and protect free speech.”

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“Most hopeless addicts are trying to hock property or score a few bucks for their next hit. Hunter was flying around the world, arranging meetings with his father and coordinating multiple global accounts.”

Cynical Defense Of Hunter Biden: I Was Addicted To Drugs (Turley)

For years, President Biden repeated the same mantra when asked about Hunter Biden’s influence peddling and alleged crimes: “My son did nothing wrong.” It was always implausible — as was his denial of any knowledge of these dealings despite emails and pictures to the contrary. So the president and the press have been shifting to a new defense. As the father recently insisted of his son, “He fought an addiction problem. He overcame it. He wrote about it.” The family and the media have been cultivating the angle for months as they anticipated possible criminal charges. Such charges would not only be an embarrassment for the president but also the media, which have been actively complicit in covering up the multimillion-dollar influence-peddling schemes of the Biden family, including Hunter and his uncle James.

With possible criminal conduct exposed, all that’s left is the addiction defense. Hunter Biden’s autobiographical book laid the foundations for this final line of defense. While the book did not do particularly well in sales with the public, the media offered fawning interviews about his account of addiction. The narrative was ramped up by many of the same media outlets that buried the scandal, including articles on how the family fought “to keep him alive.” Now The Post reports prosecutors are second-guessing charges in light of the addiction and how it might undermine any criminal case. While there’s no question the defense would likely use such an addiction, it’s usually more of a concern for sentencing than charging. Addiction can be cited as a mitigating factor to the court in determining the defendant’s level of culpability.

The most obvious problem for the addiction defense is that Hunter did not appear to have any chemical-based challenge in maintaining a global, multimillion-dollar influence-peddling scheme. The image of a crackhead holed up in high-end hotels with call girls is undermined by thousands of emails on international money transfers and complex deals stretching from Moscow to Kyiv to Beijing. The fact is you can be an addict or alcoholic and still be a criminal. Addiction did not appear to inhibit prosecutors in cases like the murder trial involving Lillo Brancato, the actor from “The Sopranos” series and the movie “A Bronx Tale.” Brancato was a drug addict when he participated in a burglary that ended in a shooting. He was convicted and given 10 years. Indeed, in some cases, prosecutors use addiction is as a motive for committing crimes, particularly in paying for or acquiring more crimes.

Not only is this possible prosecution not based on a drug offense, it would feature a high-functioning defendant who earned millions in influence peddling. Indeed, the now-sober Hunter has repeatedly acknowledged that while his family name may have led to some of his past positions, he is a lawyer with experience that was useful in work like serving on the board of Ukrainian energy conglomerate Burisma Holdings. It will be difficult for Hunter to switch from the privileged-but-capable defense to the hopeless-addict defense. Most hopeless addicts are trying to hock property or score a few bucks for their next hit. Hunter was flying around the world, arranging meetings with his father and coordinating multiple global accounts.

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Common sense.

Lapado: Covid mRNA Vaccine- 84% Increased Risk of Death For Men Ages 18-39 (PM)

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo on Friday release the state’s analysis of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, revealing an 84 percent “increased risk of cardiac-related death among men 18-39.” Florida “will not be silent on the truth,” he said. The guidance “recommends against the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines for males ages 18-39 years old.” In a statement, Ladapo said that “Studying the safety and efficacy of any medications, including vaccines, is an important component of public health. Far less attention has been paid to safety and the concerns of many individuals have been dismissed – these are important findings that should be communicated to Floridians.”

The Florida Department of Health released the findings of a self-controlled case series which they used to evaluate the safety of the Covid vaccines, which “studied mortality risk following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination.” It found that “there is an 84% increase in the relative incidence of cardiac-related death among males 18-39 years old within 28 days following mRNA vaccination.” The findings also showed that “Males over the age of 60 had a 10% increased risk of cardiac-related death within 28 days of mRNA vaccination,” and that “Non-mRNA vaccines were not found to have these increased risks among any population. The guidance suggests that Floridians talk to their doctors and health care providers about the relative benefits and risks of vaaccination for Covid with use of mRNA vaccines, and that it should be weighed against the potential risks of Covid.

This analysis comes after the Florida Department of Health issued guidance in March that recommended against use of the Covid mRNA vaccines for “healthy children and adolescents 5 years old to 17 years old.” The state also recommends “against COVID-19 vaccination among infants and children under 5 years old, which has since been issued under Emergency Use Authorization.” When this guidance for children was issued, the Biden administration accused Ladapo of being a “politician.” Florida is not alone in their guidance. Sweden recommends against Covid mRNA vaccines for children ages 5-11. The Danish Health Authority recommends against Covid mRNA vaccines for children under 18. The UK has rolled back their offering of Covid jabs to children ages 5-11, per guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

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Hoe much longer can we hide the true cause? Reuters cover its ass from its own headline: “..possibly due to complications arising from extreme heat..”

England’s Heatwaves See Highest Ever Excess Deaths Among Elderly (R.)

England saw the highest excess mortality figure from heatwaves this year since records began in 2004, health officials said on Friday, after a hot summer that saw temperatures rise to all-time highs. England recorded 2,803 excess deaths among those aged 65 and over during summer heatwaves this year, possibly due to complications arising from extreme heat, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said in a statement. The figures exclude deaths from COVID-19. “These estimates show clearly that high temperatures can lead to premature death for those who are vulnerable,” UKHSA Chief Scientific Officer Isabel Oliver said. “Prolonged periods of hot weather are a particular risk for elderly people, those with heart and lung conditions or people who are unable to keep themselves cool such as people with learning disabilities and Alzheimer’s disease.”


Britain recorded its highest ever temperature, of just above 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in eastern England on July 19. The heatwave, which caused fires across large grass areas, destroyed property and pressured transport infrastructure, had been made at least 10 times more likely because of climate change, scientists said. read more Around 1,000 excess deaths were recorded among those over 65 between July 17-20, the UKHSA said, while the Aug. 8-17 period recorded an estimated 1,458 excess deaths. Statisticians use “excess deaths” — a term that became more commonplace during the coronavirus pandemic — to describe the number of fatalities in excess of normally observed mortality numbers for a particular time of year.

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Excerpt from William Shatner’s new book, “Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder,” the “Star Trek” actor reflects on his voyage into space on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space shuttle on Oct. 13, 2021. Then 90 years old, Shatner became the oldest living person to travel into space..

My Trip to Space Filled Me With ‘Overwhelming Sadness’ (William Shatner)

With all the attending noise, fire, and fury, we lifted off. I could see Earth disappearing. As we ascended, I was at once aware of pressure. Gravitational forces pulling at me. The g’s. There was an instrument that told us how many g’s we were experiencing. At two g’s, I tried to raise my arm, and could barely do so. At three g’s, I felt my face being pushed down into my seat. I don’t know how much more of this I can take, I thought. Will I pass out? Will my face melt into a pile of mush? How many g’s can my ninety-year-old body handle? And then, suddenly, relief. No g’s. Zero. Weightlessness. We were floating. We got out of our harnesses and began to float around. The other folks went straight into somersaults and enjoying all the effects of weightlessness. I wanted no part in that.

I wanted, needed to get to the window as quickly as possible to see what was out there. I looked down and I could see the hole that our spaceship had punched in the thin, blue-tinged layer of oxygen around Earth. It was as if there was a wake trailing behind where we had just been, and just as soon as I’d noticed it, it disappeared. I continued my self-guided tour and turned my head to face the other direction, to stare into space. I love the mystery of the universe. I love all the questions that have come to us over thousands of years of exploration and hypotheses. Stars exploding years ago, their light traveling to us years later; black holes absorbing energy; satellites showing us entire galaxies in areas thought to be devoid of matter entirely… all of that has thrilled me for years… but when I looked in the opposite direction, into space, there was no mystery, no majestic awe to behold . . . all I saw was death.

I saw a cold, dark, black emptiness. It was unlike any blackness you can see or feel on Earth. It was deep, enveloping, all-encompassing. I turned back toward the light of home. I could see the curvature of Earth, the beige of the desert, the white of the clouds and the blue of the sky. It was life. Nurturing, sustaining, life. Mother Earth. Gaia. And I was leaving her. Everything I had thought was wrong. Everything I had expected to see was wrong. I had thought that going into space would be the ultimate catharsis of that connection I had been looking for between all living things—that being up there would be the next beautiful step to understanding the harmony of the universe. In the film “Contact,” when Jodie Foster’s character goes to space and looks out into the heavens, she lets out an astonished whisper, “They should’ve sent a poet.”

I had a different experience, because I discovered that the beauty isn’t out there, it’s down here, with all of us. Leaving that behind made my connection to our tiny planet even more profound. It was among the strongest feelings of grief I have ever encountered. The contrast between the vicious coldness of space and the warm nurturing of Earth below filled me with overwhelming sadness. Every day, we are confronted with the knowledge of further destruction of Earth at our hands: the extinction of animal species, of flora and fauna . . . things that took five billion years to evolve, and suddenly we will never see them again because of the interference of mankind. It filled me with dread. My trip to space was supposed to be a celebration; instead, it felt like a funeral.

I learned later that I was not alone in this feeling. It is called the “Overview Effect” and is not uncommon among astronauts, including Yuri Gagarin, Michael Collins, Sally Ride, and many others. Essentially, when someone travels to space and views Earth from orbit, a sense of the planet’s fragility takes hold in an ineffable, instinctive manner. Author Frank White first coined the term in 1987: “There are no borders or boundaries on our planet except those that we create in our minds or through human behaviors. All the ideas and concepts that divide us when we are on the surface begin to fade from orbit and the moon. The result is a shift in worldview, and in identity.”

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Elephant rock, Iceland

 

 

 

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Oct 082022
 
 October 8, 2022  Posted by at 8:32 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  67 Responses »


Marc Chagall The watering trough 1925

 

Putin and Zelensky To Attend G20 – Indonesia (RT)
Merkel: Lasting Peace In Europe Only Possible With Russia’s Input (RT)
Russia Abandons The Dream Of A Greater Europe (RT)
US Media’s Intellectual No-Fly-Zone on Nord Stream (FAIR)
Lavrov Explains Why Russia Sees Ukraine As A Threat (RT)
EU Again Urged To Open Wallet For Kiev (RT)
Belgium Fails To Support New Round Of Sanctions Against Russia (RT)
Orban Urges Changes To EU Sanctions Policy (RT)
Joe Biden Is Not A Real President (Scarry)
OPEC Humiliates President Biden On A Global Stage (QTR)
Luxembourg Raises Red Flag Over Energy Price Caps (RT)
Citi: Financial Crisis May Surprise EU (RT)
November Surprise? (Jim Kunstler)
Washington Post Lying About Kremlin ‘Turmoil’ – Moscow (RT)
When Anti-Government Speech Becomes Sedition (Whitehead)
CDC: Record Number Of Children Hospitalized With Weakened Immune Systems (ZH)

 

 

This morning: Explosions on the Kerch bridge (Crimean bridge), which connects Crimea with Russia.

 

 

 

 

Macgregor

 

 

 

 

Ed Dowd

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We are deciding which hotels to put them up in – one for Mr. Putin and one for Mr. Zelensky..”

“..his press secretary, Sergey Nikiforov, in a comment to Ukrainian media, denied the information that Zelensky had decided to visit the G20 summit..”

Putin and Zelensky To Attend G20 – Indonesia (RT)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelensky, will both travel to Bali in November for the G20 summit, an Indonesian diplomat has told UAE’s The National newspaper. If true, the summit will be the first event attended by both leaders since Russia’s military operation in Ukraine began. “Both have agreed [to attend],”Indonesia’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Husain Bagis, told The National on Friday. He conceded that “the situation isn’t easy because of the Ukraine-Russia war,” and said that his government is already planning how to manage the arrival of the two leaders. “We are deciding which hotels to put them up in – one for Mr. Putin and one for Mr. Zelensky,” he said.

The Kremlin confirmed in June that Putin would attend the summit, although spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that the format of Putin’s participation “is still not defined.” Kiev stated in August that Zelensky “believes that he should be on the territory of Ukraine,” but would “think about”making the trip if Putin were to attend in person. Today his press secretary, Sergey Nikiforov, in a comment to Ukrainian media, denied the information that Zelensky had decided to visit the G20 summit. US President Joe Biden and a number of other Western leaders urged Indonesian President Joko Widodo not to invite Putin to the summit in Bali.

However, Widodo resisted the pressure campaign and invited the Russian leader as planned. With Widodo having met both Zelensky and Putin earlier this summer in a bid to “invite the two leaders to open dialogue and stop the war,” Bagis told The National that Indonesia aims “to make the G20 a platform for peace, not conflict.” Biden also appears to have softened his exclusionary stance toward Putin, telling reporters on Thursday that it “remains to be seen” whether he would meet the Russian president on the sidelines of the summit. The State Department quickly stepped in to say that in the view of the entire government, “it cannot be business as usual when it comes to Russia.” Although Ukraine is not one of the world’s 20 largest economies, Zelensky was invited to Bali as a guest.

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Sustainable peace = Green peace?!

Wonder if Merkel is involved in secret talks with Russia.

Merkel: Lasting Peace In Europe Only Possible With Russia’s Input (RT)

Sustainable peace in Europe may only be achieved if Russia is part of it, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday. Speaking during the 77th anniversary of the German newspaper ‘Suddeutsche Zeitung,’ Merkel explained that while the West has been adamant in its support for Ukraine as the nation remains locked in conflict with Russia, it should also keep its mind open about what might seem as “unthinkable” now – Moscow’s future role in Europe’s affairs. She stressed that “a future European security architecture within international law will meet the requirements” only if it involves Russia. “As long as we haven’t achieved that, the Cold War is not really over either,” she added.

Merkel described February 24 – the day Russia launched its military campaign in Ukraine – as a “turning point,” adding that statements made by various parties to the conflict should be taken “seriously and not to be classified as a bluff from the start.” She was apparently referring to recent comments made by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who signaled that Moscow would use “all means to defend Russia and our people” if its territorial integrity was threatened. He also warned the West that those who use nuclear blackmail against Russia “should know that the wind rose can turn around.”

Merkel earlier urged the Western world to take Putin and his words seriously, arguing that such an approach is “by no means a sign of weakness,” but rather “a sign of political wisdom.” She also noted that former German chancellor Helmut Kohl, who before his death, was widely regarded as her political mentor, would have kept an open mind about “how relations to and with Russia could one day be redeveloped” after hostilities in Ukraine end. Such a stance, however, did not sit well with Ukrainian officials. Last week, Andrey Melnik, Kiev’s outgoing ambassador to Berlin, called Merkel’s attitude towards Russia and its role in European security “almost perverse.”

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“A Greater Europe didn’t happen; a Greater Asia that includes Russia is de facto emerging.”

Russia Abandons The Dream Of A Greater Europe (RT)

Re-uniting the divided people of Russia and gathering the lands where they live is essentially the core element of the new Russian idea that Putin is offering to his compatriots. The immediate task of course is to integrate the new territories that have just joined Russia following the referendums. This requires a major effort in many areas and at various levels. It is anything but easy. Russian forces, which for months have been advancing on Ukrainian territory, suddenly find themselves in a situation where they have to abandon some areas which are now legally Russian land, populated by Russian citizens who just voted in the referendums and now face severe reprisals at the hands of the counter-attacking Ukrainians.

Next comes the need to rebuild the cities and villages ravaged in the war, repair damaged infrastructure, restart the economy, provide communal services, and re-organize public administration, health services, and education. Of paramount importance is socializing the millions of residents of the four regions who were automatically granted Russian citizenship, in the Russian national environment. Moscow has some experience of that from 2014 when Crimea and Sevastopol joined Russia, but doing this in a wartime situation is more challenging. A lot will depend, of course, on how the Russian forces cope on the frontline that passes very close to Donetsk and Kherson, and which still leaves the city of Zaporozhiye in Ukraine’s rear.

Even if the Ukrainian counter-offensive runs out of steam and the Russians resume their advance, none of these tasks can be accomplished quickly. This part of the new Russian national idea will keep the nation busy for a long time. Putin’s concept, however, doesn’t stop there. It is not so much about restoring the Soviet Union: in Putin’s words, such a restoration is not Moscow’s objective. The Baltics, the South Caucasus and Central Asia are probably not envisaged as part of the new construct. However, as Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hinted on the State Duma floor, in future other Ukrainian regions might be given the chance to follow Kherson and Zaporozhiye. To Putin, Greater Russia is a distinct civilization which opposes not only America’s hegemonic policies, but also the West’s projection of its values as universal.

This is an about-face not only from Gorbachev’s musings about a common European home, but also from Putin’s own travails in trying to forge a Greater Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok, and his efforts to find a way for Russia to join NATO. A Greater Europe didn’t happen; a Greater Asia that includes Russia is de facto emerging. As to a Greater Russia, this requires more than a leader’s imagination. The Soviet Union, as the living generations remember it, was very much the product of the Great Patriotic War. The hybrid war with the West, of which Ukraine is only a small part, will doubtless reshape Russia. The question is, will it also transform it to fit the vision of a powerful economy and a vibrant society, faithful to its declared values – the substance, rather than the form of a Greater Russia.

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“A 2019 Pentagon-funded study from the RAND Corporation on how best to exploit “Russia’s economic, political and military vulnerabilities and anxieties” included a recommendation to “Reduce [Russian] Natural Gas Exports and Hinder Pipeline Expansions.”

US Media’s Intellectual No-Fly-Zone on Nord Stream (FAIR)

Any serious coverage of the Nord Stream attack should acknowledge that opposition to the pipeline has been a centerpiece of the US grand strategy in Europe. The long-term goal has been to keep Russia isolated and disjointed from Europe, and to keep the countries of Europe tied to US markets. Ever since German and Russian energy companies signed a deal to begin development on Nord Stream 2, the entire machinery of Washington has been working overtime to scuttle it. A 2019 Pentagon-funded study from the RAND Corporation on how best to exploit “Russia’s economic, political and military vulnerabilities and anxieties” included a recommendation to “Reduce [Russian] Natural Gas Exports and Hinder Pipeline Expansions.”

The study noted that a “first step would involve stopping Nord Stream 2,” and that natural gas “from the United States and Australia could provide a substitute.” This RAND study also prophetically recommended “providing more US military equipment and advice” to Ukraine in order to “lead Russia to increase its direct involvement in the conflict and the price it pays for it,” even though it acknowledged that “Russia might respond by mounting a new offensive and seizing more Ukrainian territory.” The Obama administration opposed the pipeline. As part of the major sanctions package against Russia in 2017, the Trump administration began sanctioning any company doing work on the pipeline. The move generated outrage in Germany, where many saw it as an attempt to meddle with European markets. In 2019, the US implemented more sanctions on the project.

Upon coming into office, President Joe Biden made opposition to the pipeline one of his administration’s top priorities. During his confirmation hearings in 2021, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told Congress he was “determined to do whatever I can to prevent” Nord Stream 2 from being completed. Months later, the State Department reiterated that “any entity involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline risks US sanctions and should immediately abandon work on the pipeline.” In July 2021, the sanctions were relaxed only after contentious negotiations with the German government. The New York Times (7/21/21) reported that the administration and Germany still had “profound disagreements” about the project.

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“We all remember how [Zelensky] declared in January Ukraine’s intention to acquire nuclear weapons. Apparently, this idea has long been stuck in his mind..”

Lavrov Explains Why Russia Sees Ukraine As A Threat (RT)

A call by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky for NATO members to deploy nuclear weapons against Russia is a reminder of why Moscow launched military action against his country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. “Yesterday, Zelensky called on his Western masters to deliver a preemptive nuclear strike on Russia,” Moscow’s top diplomat stated during a media conference on Wednesday. In doing so, the Ukrainian leader “showed to the entire world the latest proof of the threats that come from the Kiev regime.” Lavrov said Russia’s special military operation had been launched to neutralize those threats. He dismissed as “laughable” an attempt to downplay Zelensky’s words made by his press secretary, Sergey Nikoforov. “We all remember how [Zelensky] declared in January Ukraine’s intention to acquire nuclear weapons. Apparently, this idea has long been stuck in his mind,” the Russian minister said.


On Thursday, Zelensky told the Australian Lowy Institute that NATO must carry out preemptive strikes against Russia so that it “knows what to expect” if it uses its nuclear arsenal. He claimed that such action would “eliminate the possibility of Russia using nuclear weapons,” before recalling how he urged other nations to preemptively punish Russia before it launched its military action against his country. “I once again appeal to the international community, as it was before February 24: Preemptive strikes so that [the Russians] know what will happen to them if they use it, and not the other way around,” he said. His spokesman then claimed that people interpreting Zelensky’s words as a call for a preemptive nuclear strike were wrong, and that Ukraine would never use such rhetoric.

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Cold and hunger and billions for Azov. A winning model.

EU Again Urged To Open Wallet For Kiev (RT)

Josep Borrell, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, will urge member states to set aside more funds to cover enhanced military assistance for Ukraine. The top diplomat shared his plan with reporters at an informal EU summit in Prague on Friday. “I will ask the leaders to support the proposal for a new tranche for European Peace Facility to continue providing military support to Ukraine, also to the training mission,” Borrell said, as quoted by Reuters. Earlier this week Borrell expressed hope that at the next Foreign Affairs Council gathering on October 17, the EU will be able to “formally launch” its training mission for Ukrainian armed forces. Writing in his blog, the diplomat also claimed that the EU would “reinforce” its strategy of supporting Ukraine – “militarily, financially and politically.”

The European Peace Facility (EPF) that Borell referred to, is a mechanism created last year to enhance the EU’s ability to act as a global security provider. The EPF reimburses governments for military equipment supplied to Kiev, “including items designed to deliver lethal force for defensive purposes.” The latest round of funding for Ukraine under the EPF, worth €500 million, was agreed by the European Council in July. With this package, the total EU contribution for the country within this framework amounts to €2.5 billion. The EPF has a ceiling of about €6 billion and is supposed to support not only Ukraine but also other countries. As EU nations face an energy and cost-of-living crisis, exacerbated by anti-Russia sanctions and a reduction in Russian energy supplies, Borrell earlier urged people in the bloc to combat “the temptation to abandon Ukraine.”

Responding earlier this week to the EU’s plan of creating a training mission for Kiev’s armed forces, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that such a move would only “fix the EU in the status of a participant in the conflict.” In April, she accused the bloc of turning into “NATO’s economic relations department.” This followed Borrell’s tweet that “This war (in Ukraine) must be won on the battlefield.” Moscow has consistently warned Western countries against providing military support to Kiev. It argues that such assistance would only prolong the conflict and will lead to unnecessary casualties. Ukraine, in turn, has repeatedly claimed that the EU is too slow in its weapons supplies and that it doesn’t always provide what Kiev had requested.

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I found this strange. Macron wanted a new club, the European Political Community (EPC), which is EU plus some others?! Why? Betcha it’s so Ukraine can be part of some club too.

Belgium Fails To Support New Round Of Sanctions Against Russia (RT)

The Belgian government decided against endorsing a new round of EU anti-Russia trade restrictions, the local press reported on Thursday, citing remarks made by Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. Speaking on the sidelines of the European Political Community (EPC) summit in Prague, Czech Republic, the head of the Belgian government explained that “as the economic cost of sanctions becomes higher, it becomes difficult to show solidarity” with Ukraine. “The sanctions have worked very well so far,” the prime minister said, “but the further we go, the more we talk about sanctions that hurt our own economy more than Russia’s.” His country therefore declined to support the eighth package of sanctions when EU member states voted on it this week.

Belgium didn’t vote against it either, because “we do not want to break European solidarity,” De Croo was quoted as saying. A vote against the proposal any EU member state would have blocked the package from being approved. Belgium was reportedly the only nation to abstain. Earlier this week, Belgian MP Andre Flahaut, who represents the province of Walloon Brabant, expressed concerns about the impact of the upcoming sanctions on his constituents. Two factories owned by the Russian metals giant NLMK, which are located in the Belgian province, may have to shut down, the lawmaker warned. The EU ultimately allowed a transition period of two years to switch from semi-finished steel products originating in Russia to alternative supplies.

There were also concerns in Belgium that the EU would try to restrict trade in Russian diamonds, potentially impacting the jewelry businesses of Antwerp. Some news outlets reported that the country blocked the proposed inclusion of such sanctions in the package. When asked about Russian gemstones, Prime Minister De Croo said his government would not have opposed a ban, if it were necessary, but the European Commission decided against it because imports from Russia had fallen significantly without any formal restrictions. The EPC is a new political club proposed earlier this year by French President Emmanuel Macron. The forum is supposed to bring together EU member states and nations that aspire to become part of the economic bloc, plus its traditional allies like the UK and Norway. The meeting of EPC leaders in Prague is the first of its kind.

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Orban could soon walk out. They refuse to give him his money anyway. Why stay?

Orban Urges Changes To EU Sanctions Policy (RT)

Sanctions imposed by the EU on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine have failed, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Thursday, urging Brussels to change its policy. “The sanctions didn’t fulfill the hopes that were pinned on them, the war hasn’t ended,” Orban wrote on Facebook. “Europe is slowly bleeding and Russia is making money in the meantime,” he pointed out. The Hungarian leader said that it was obvious to him that “the failed policy of Brussels must be changed.” The statement was made on the same day that the EU announced an eighth round of sanctions on Russia. The new curbs include an oil price cap, trade restrictions amounting to 7 billion euros and individual sanctions against 30 people and seven entities. The move comes after the official inclusion of Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions into Russia [..]


Orban has frequently criticized the EU’s sanctions on Russia, calling them counterproductive. Hungary, which is heavily dependent on Russian energy, has maintained a relatively neutral stance during the conflict in Ukraine, condemning the use of force by Moscow, but refusing to supply weapons to Kiev. Brussels expected that the unprecedented restrictions would cripple Russia’s economy and prevent it from funding its military operation. But Moscow was able to redirect its oil and gas to Asian markets, while also profiting from growing energy prices. The policy has also largely backfired for the EU, causing a spike in inflation, and putting Europe into an energy crisis. The situation deteriorated even further in late September when the Nord Stream pipelines were sabotaged.

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“Biden Threatening Nuclear Armageddon After Six Years of Media Freakout Over Trump Tweets”

Joe Biden Is Not A Real President (Scarry)

Did anyone else burst into a bout of uncontrollable, psychotic laughter upon reading the report that President Biden just told a room full of Democrat donors that the risk of nuclear “armageddon” has arrived? I can’t be the only one. Here are some headlines from the not-too-distant past that immediately came to mind: • We must Trump-proof the nuclear codes before 20243 NBC News, March 12, 2022 • Gen. Milley feared Trump might launch nuclear attack, made secret calls to China, new book says USA Today, Sept. 14, 2021 • Trump is leading us into nuclear war, says Daniel Ellsberg (and he should know, he used to plan them) Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Feb. 1, 2018 • Donald Trump s Nuclear-War Threat The New Yorker, Aug. 9, 2017 • Clinton Says Trump Could Lead US Into Nuclear War Roll Call, June 2, 2016.

So, wait a second. You mean we just spent the last six years with all of Washington and the national media swearing to voters that Trump had us on the brink of nuclear annihilation, only for it to be Biden, their choice for president, to get us right up on the cliff’s edge? If that doesn’t have you pulling tufts of hair out of your scalp until it bleeds, check your pulse. This can’t be real. Biden has to be fake. This must be a computer simulation. For four years under Trump, gas was cheap, the stock market was booming, and a trip to the grocery store didn’t require customers to take out a second mortgage.

Now under Biden, OPEC is gratuitously choking the energy supply, basic necessities are scarce, and a major war has American taxpayers spending more than $67 billion (and counting) to a country that’s 5,000 miles away. Oh, and now we have to worry about a nuclear confrontation with a global superpower! sIf it were a movie script, not a single producer would find it believable. The writer would never work again. But this is real? We elected a president, in earnest, who is this incompetent and terrible? It’s nuclear war he’s warning of! This is the absolute worst-case scenario. The severity can’t be overstated. There aren’t enough mean Trump tweets in the world to excuse the state of things under this “president.” I refuse to believe it. Biden isn’t a real president.

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“..they 1) are not our friends, 2) do not care what we want, 3) do not take us seriously and 4) are not here to help us and/or Biden get re-elected by lowering prices..”

OPEC Humiliates President Biden On A Global Stage (QTR)

[..] yesterday OPEC humiliated President Biden on a global stage by cutting oil production after he specifically lobbied them not to. There’s no “nice” way of putting it – they straight-up snubbed the U.S. and have now, in my opinion, made it officially clear that they 1) are not our friends, 2) do not care what we want, 3) do not take us seriously and 4) are not here to help us and/or Biden get re-elected by lowering prices. To use Biden’s parlance, “Let me tell you something, Jack – we’re not in bed with the Saudis anymore. They are more allied with China and Russia than they have ever been, at arguably the most crucial moment in recent history for our global economy.”

As I pointed out last night on my podcast, there was nothing quite like the “fist bump heard round the world” a couple months ago when President Biden – who spends his time here domestically fighting for “equality” and human rights – decided to embrace the Saudis, and their track record of disapproving of gay rights, murdering journalists and multiple other human rights violations – instead of simply ramping up domestic oil production here in the U.S. Biden probably went into the meeting he had with MBS months ago thinking we had some type of leverage, like we have had decades ago. The sad reality is that we simply don’t anymore: the Saudis have the oil, they have gold, and now they have allies just as big and powerful as the U.S. when combined. And those allies provide financial and military support at a crucial juncture for geopolitics.

Meanwhile, our President remains tone deaf and while his supporters remain immune to what can only be described as blatantly obvious double standards. With the left hand, Biden was vilifying Exxon and Chevron here in the U.S., basically encouraging them to not bring more supply online, whilst blaming “gas station owners” and other people who don’t set the price of refined fuels. With the right hand, he was fist bumping a man who publicly disapproves of gay rights and ordered the murder of a critical journalist, in order to try and get him to unleash more oil on the global stage. And instead of him taking us seriously, he did the exact opposite of what Biden wanted yesterday – cut oil production, raising prices – and humiliated Biden on the global stage.

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“Serbian Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin has described the eighth package of anti-Russia penalties as the “first EU sanctions package” against Serbia.”

Luxembourg Raises Red Flag Over Energy Price Caps (RT)

The European Union may be left with no energy supplies after introducing gas price caps, Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said as he arrived at the bloc’s summit in Prague on Friday. “Implementing a price cap is not the only thing,” Bettel said. “Because, after, maybe we can’t get energy. So then, maybe we have a price cap but no energy.” EU leaders are expected to discuss how to deal with gas prices to curb soaring energy bills during their informal summit in the Czech capital. The talks will include a proposal on a gas price cap. “We have to know we’re not the only customers in the world,” he added. “So, we have to be very careful about decisions that we take that sound good on paper but where consequences can be problematic.”


The issue has been hotly contested for weeks, with Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands in opposition to any form of cap due to concerns regarding security of supply. On Thursday, Brussels announced the eighth package of restrictions on Russia, which includes a price cap and “further restrictions” on the maritime transportation of Russian crude oil and petroleum products to third countries. The latest batch of penalties has been blasted by several EU nations, including Hungary and Serbia. Earlier, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that anti-Russia sanctions had failed, adding that the bloc was “slowly bleeding” due to the drastic steps. Meanwhile, Serbian Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin has described the eighth package of anti-Russia penalties as the “first EU sanctions package” against Serbia.

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“The euro area is at risk of a financial meltdown on the same scale as the crisis it suffered a decade ago..”

They should be so lucky.

Citi: Financial Crisis May Surprise EU (RT)

The euro area is at risk of a financial meltdown on the same scale as the crisis it suffered a decade ago, Citi analysts have told CNBC. They cited Germany’s massive energy relief plan as the major threat to the bloc’s stability, the media outlet reports on Friday. According to the report, Wall Street bank analysts have raised concerns about the violent bond market moves and the European governments’ plans to borrow vast sums of money. They said that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s relief package, worth €200 billion ($195 billion) and aimed at tackling soaring energy prices, “may soften the coming recession but also poses risks.” Those risks relate to the question of how the package will be financed and what that could do to inflation, to Germany’s sovereign bond yields, to the ECB’s benchmark rate, and to the borrowing plans of other euro nations that may do the same.

“The risk is that others may follow that example,” Christian Schulz, deputy chief European economist at Citi, told CNBC, citing the UK’s recent bond market meltdown after unfunded tax cuts by the government. Schulz explained that Germany could “afford” any debt financing thanks to its low debt-to-GDP ratio and lower external funding needs, but the package could open the door for less fiscally prudent countries to want to borrow large amounts and issue new debt. That could potentially lead to trouble like that seen in Britain.

Citi analysts forecast that German debt financing could force tighter ECB policy, which could then also send yields surging in the euro area. “The risk is that this same dynamic [as seen in Britain] evolves on the continent as well now,”Schulz warned. Meanwhile, data by Saxo Bank show that an ECB stress indicator for the Eurozone’s financial system – which looks at tensions in bond, equity and money markets – has risen from below 0.1 at the start of the year to almost 0.5 so far. During the Eurozone debt crisis in 2009-2010, the index exceeded 0.6.


German producer prices. Past 2 years: up 60%. Past 40 years before that: up 60%.

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“His staff must be marinated in evidence of the RussiaGate misdeeds — reams of which have been independently documented in the public record..”

November Surprise? (Jim Kunstler)

Adults understand that politics is a crooked business, but through the whole of US history until now filters existed in the public arena that allowed for enough sorting out of truth from untruth to enable the formation of a reality-based consensus — which, in turn, allowed daily life to operate coherently. The Party of Chaos has thrown the kill-switch on that crucial function by corrupting the news business and subverting the new social media. The result is a public culture of pervasive and immersive lying, and a stupendous institutional failure of the courts to correct any of that behavior. Case-in-point: the John Durham Special Counsel Investigation on the origin of the RussiaGate fraud. It now apparently terminates in the prosecution of the tiniest minnow (Igor Danchenko) in that vast inland sea of corruption.

Some of the figures who carried out the perfidious seditions of RussiaGate are still employed in the Department of Justice and the FBI, and to this day are active in the continued cover-up of the crimes committed to overthrow President Trump, notably: Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and others. Mr. Durham is supposedly among the highest officers of the federal courts charged with enforcing a very particular region of criminality.

His staff must be marinated in evidence of the RussiaGate misdeeds — reams of which have been independently documented in the public record, ranging from (just for example) the nefarious activities of figures like Nellie Ohr, wife of DOJ higher-up Bruce Ohr, working as go-between with Christopher Steele and the FBI, to the spectacular failures of Judge James Boasberg and his FISA court, not to mention the well-known machinations of Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Andrew McCabe, Rod Rosenstein, Dana Boente, James Baker, Andrew Weissmann, Jeannie Rhee, Aaron Zebley, Brandon Van Grack, Robert Mueller, and other top officials who worked sedulously against the public interest. All these remain apparently off-the-hook for their sketchy activities.

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“Peskov told the Post that disagreement between Putin and his aides is “part of the usual working process.”

Washington Post Lying About Kremlin ‘Turmoil’ – Moscow (RT)

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that a Washington Post report alleging “turmoil” and confrontation in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle is “absolutely not true.” The report in question was attributed to anonymous US spies. “A member of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle has voiced disagreement directly to the Russian president” over the conflict in Ukraine, the report stated, alleging that “the criticism marks the clearest indication yet of turmoil within Russia’s leadership.” No source was given for this report, which was attributed to “information obtained by US intelligence.” Peskov told the Post that disagreement between Putin and his aides is “part of the usual working process.”

“There are working arguments: about the economy, about the conduct of the military operation. There are arguments about the education system. This is part of the normal working process, and it is not a sign of any split,” he said, adding that the information supposedly obtained by American intelligence is “absolutely not true.” American officials have previously boasted about waging an “info war”against Russia by leaking false intelligence reports to the media, NBC News reported in April. Intelligence officials, for example, admitted to fabricating a warning that Russia was preparing to use chemical weapons in Ukraine in March, leaking the story to the Washington Post despite it being based on “low confidence” intelligence.

A report claiming that Putin was “being misled by his own advisers” was also reportedly made up or exaggerated by US spies. “There’s no way you can prove or disprove that stuff,” a retired intelligence operative told NBC. The Post’s latest report was also received with doubt by the US’ European allies. According to the newspaper, “senior security officials in Europe said they were not aware that anyone had dared to challenge Putin directly over the course of events in Ukraine,” and said that they hadn’t seen the supposed US intelligence report that the article was based on.

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Terrorists.

When Anti-Government Speech Becomes Sedition (Whitehead)

Anti-government speech has become a four-letter word. In more and more cases, the government is declaring war on what should be protected political speech whenever it challenges the government’s power, reveals the government’s corruption, exposes the government’s lies, and encourages the citizenry to push back against the government’s many injustices. Indeed, there is a long and growing list of the kinds of speech that the government considers dangerous enough to red flag and subject to censorship, surveillance, investigation and prosecution: hate speech, conspiratorial speech, treasonous speech, threatening speech, inflammatory speech, radical speech, anti-government speech, extremist speech, etc.

Things are about to get even dicier for those who believe in fully exercising their right to political expression. Indeed, the government’s seditious conspiracy charges against Stewart Rhodes, the founder of Oath Keepers, and several of his associates for their alleged involvement in the January 6 Capitol riots puts the entire concept of anti-government political expression on trial. [..] In recent years, the government has used the phrase “domestic terrorist” interchangeably with “anti-government,” “extremist” and “terrorist” to describe anyone who might fall somewhere on a very broad spectrum of viewpoints that could be considered “dangerous.” The ramifications are so far-reaching as to render almost every American with an opinion about the government or who knows someone with an opinion about the government an extremist in word, deed, thought or by association.

You see, the government doesn’t care if you or someone you know has a legitimate grievance. It doesn’t care if your criticisms are well-founded. And it certainly doesn’t care if you have a First Amendment right to speak truth to power. What the government cares about is whether what you’re thinking or speaking or sharing or consuming as information has the potential to challenge its stranglehold on power. Why else would the FBI, CIA, NSA and other government agencies be investing in corporate surveillance technologies that can mine constitutionally protected speech on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? Why else would the Biden Administration be likening those who share “false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of mis- dis- and mal-information” to terrorists?

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3 weeks after the New England Journal of medicine said the vaccines destroy your immune system, the stupid circus just goes on.

CDC: Record Number Of Children Hospitalized With Weakened Immune Systems (ZH)

Official data suggests that more children and young adults than ever have been hospitalized with colds and respiratory issues, according to the Daily Mail, which notes that “experts have repeatedly warned lockdowns and measures used to contain Covid like face masks also suppressed the spread of germs which are crucial for building a strong immune system in children.” According to a retrospective report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), levels of common cold viruses hit their highest level among non-adults in August 2021 – when levels had been much lower in previous years during the same month. According to the data which sampled nearly 700 children, nearly 55% tested positive for RSV in August 2021. Of that, 450 were moved to emergency departments where nearly 35% had RSV – which is comparable to the winter months when over 30% of patients regularly have the virus, according to the report.


“The CDC samples random pediatric hospitals across the US and makes national estimates to gauge how prevalent viruses are. There were nearly 700 children in hospital sick with a respiratory virus across the seven wards studied in August last year, of which just over half had tested positive for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) – which is normally benign. This was the highest levels ever recorded in summer, and came off the back of a year and a half of brutal pandemic restrictions forcing many to stay indoors. The record all-time high is in December, when 60 per cent of children on wards with respiratory illnesses were infected with RSV.” -Daily Mail

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Dance

 

 

 

 

Watters

 

 

Anthony Bourdain RIP

 

 

 

 

 

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